vi. Rafa Esparza

las voces del rancho (voices from the ranch): Lupe, Mila, Neti, Sandra, Cheli, Rosa, Marta

throughout the last few years rafa has been using performance as his main form of inquiry, integrating his body, movement, and building materials into his practice. he sees it vital to focus on his body in space to highlight its historically negated presence in art/history, and persists that it be seen under the terms he sets forth through his various installations, performances, and interventions.

in las voces del rancho, rafa (re)presents some of his work interspersed with retellings of recorded conversations with his mother and his aunts about their journeys as young teenagers from their rural hometown in Ricardo Flores Magon, to the urban cities of Durango, Mexico, and eventually to California where many of them presently reside.

through this talk/ juxtaposition, rafa attempts to reconcile questions he has regarding access and representation in his art that feel grounded in his family’s history and experience of third world poverty, labor, and struggle for survival.

Rafa Esparza is a multidisciplinary artist whose work ranges from installation, sculpture, drawing, painting, and predominantly live performance. Esparza utilizes site-specificity, materiality, memory, and (non)documentation as his primary tools to interrogate, critique, and examine ideologies and power structures. He has performed in a variety of spaces ranging from community-engaged places such as AIDS Project Los Angeles, to non-profit institutions including LACE, Human Resources, Highways Performance Space, and at progressively more public sites throughout the city. He is a 2014 Art Matters grantee and recipient of an Emerging Artist 2014 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, as well as a 2015 recipient of a Rema Hort Mann Foundation Emerging Artist Grant.