Tania Pérez Córdova

The sculptural compositions of Mexico City–based artist Tania Pérez Córdova suggest the passing of time. Inscribed in her work are traces that connect her still life objects to a complex contemporary world: a borrowed gold earring hangs from a bronze cast structure, a set of used contact lenses sit in a marble molding, an active credit card is embedded in a clay platter, a stranger’s SIM card is encrusted in a porcelain mold.

These objects, while seemingly uneventful, create situations where the artist’s negotiations with those third parties are made visible to the viewer. Her delicate work might wrongfully be read as conceptual, but when analyzed carefully, her sculptures gain a completely different dimension: they are also the women left without one gold earring; those people whose viewing prescriptions lie in the gallery; they are also the credit card user, the bank and the whole credit system; they are also all of us, and our relationship to digital communication.

Tania’s interest in quotidian events somehow underlines how unremarkable situations can be compelling acts that are associated with a complex infrastructure of social or economic relationships. She sometimes describes her sculptures as stage props of a script about everyday life. They are performative works that do not move—“contemporary relics,” as she calls them. Although perhaps, “contemporary fossils” is more adequate—they are objects that witness life happening around them and slowly, almost as if suggesting sedimentation, give traces of human life.

Perhaps less visible but also very much present in Tania’s work is her interest in materiality. She often tests the physical limits of materials by transforming them into something they’re not: melting a bronze coin with beer cans to the point where the coin is still a coin, reshaping an old car’s windshield into an ornament, or pressing a piece of foam to suggest an action.

There seems to be a relationship between the unscripted events her sculptures evoke and the experimentation with materiality she pursues, that would be interesting in exploring at a large scale, and which would surely surface many meaningful acts of contemporary life that might seem ordinary to an untrained eye.

José Esparza Chong Cuy