William Cordova: Smoke Signals - Sculpting In Time

Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

530 W 22nd St, New York

April 7 - May 13, 2017

"The smoke signal is one of the oldest forms of communication in recorded history. It is a form of visual communication used over long distances.,,

-Susan Lobo (Native American Voices, 3rd Edition)

"In general smoke signals are used to transmit news, signal danger, or gather people to a common area.,,

-Shirley Lee (Text-Tionary: The Ultimate Decoder of Text Abbreviations)


Sikkema Jenkins & Co. is pleased to present smoke signals: sculpting in time, William Cordova’s third solo exhibition at the gallery. For this exhibition, on view from April 7 through May 13, Cordova has produced an installation that focus on the intersection and synthesis of architecture, cultures, and spirituality.

Cordova combines research, travel, writing, drawing, photography, and sculpture to create artworks that disrupt assumptions of a linear history. This idea takes physical shape in the form of the large-scale spiral wooden scaffolding structure which fills the main gallery space. smoke signals: sculpting in time is an expansion on Cordova’s site-specific installation originally commissioned for the SITElines.2016 Much Wider Than a Line, presented by SITE Santa Fe and co-curated by Rocio Aranda-Alvarado, Kathleen Ash-Milby, Pip Day, Pablo León de la Barra, and Kiki Mazzucchelli. According to Cordova, the structure links architect Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller transcendental philosophies with Aztec, Andean, and Asian architecture as a way of reconnecting ancient geometric principals and pragmatic use of materials.

Included in the installation are a series of large scale collages, a set of drawings, suite of unique Polaroid prints, video, custom audio LP, and several small sculptures. Examples of these works include fin, pero no es el fin (follow the drinking gourd), 2016, a suite of 6 framed Peruvian cacao drawings – an amalgamation of cosmological maps and fragments of architectural design relating to Frank Lloyd Wright’s custom window design, as well as Japanese, and Tiwanaku design from which Wright drew influence. physical graffiti (or the synthesis we knew about), 2016, is a vinyl recording of an ant hill located within the exterior walls of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in Chicago and a similar ant hill in the exterior of the now demolished People’s Church, also in Chicago, which was once the Young Lords activist organization headquarters (1969-1970). The work links eusocial and socialist architectural strategies through audio as a form of resonating shared rituals in the spirit of Bill Viola’s transcendental empty pool recordings on The Talking Drum (1979) LP and the late Fluxus artist Benjamin Patterson’s Ants (1960) composition.