The 2017 Whitney Biennial Is a Pitch-Perfect Survey of Art Today
Gala Porras-Kim (b. 1984, Bogotá, Colombia, lives and works in Los Angeles, CA) has recently presented solo shows at the Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles, CA (2017) and at Bindery Projects, Minneapolis, MN (2014). Porras-Kim has also been included in group exhibitions at both the Los Angeles County Museum of Art: LACMA, Los Angeles, CA (2012) and the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA (2016).
Gala Porras-Kim makes work that questions how knowledge is acquired, tests the potential of the art object to function as an epistemological tool outside of its traditional, art historical context, and challenges the possibilities and limits of learning about the cultures that surround us.
In the Rongorongo series Porras-Kim uses objects discovered in the 19th century on Easter Island that appear to contain writing or proto-writing as her subjects. There have been numerous attempts to translate, none successfully. In these drawings Porras-Kim reproduces the objects, removes the text from their original, and arranges the characters in a separate frame.
The work can be perceived as both aesthetic and utilitarian, capable of serving as a means for an outsider to access information about an unfamiliar culture and how institutions and personal biases shape those means.