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Karla Ekaterine Canseco

Grietas de Acero (Steel Fissures)

January 27th – March 9th, 2024


      Karla Ekaterine Canseco’s exhibition, Grietas de Acero (Steel Fissures), is composed of an installation and a series of sculptures primarily made of ceramics and metals. Here, metal acts as a conductor for all matter, while crude oil serves as the viscous lubricant that allows it to move. These materials can be considered as "beings" with their own agency, representing events, experiences, institutional processes, and economic practices: personifications of forces that constantly impact and imprint the ways that a body is created. What we call the body is a situation in continuous invention, porous like clay, susceptible to being traversed and molded by fictional and real powers. In this way, the artist questions the multiple meanings that this era has given to the material with which it shapes its imaginings.

         Like several sculptures in this exhibition, "Stalagmite, an unusual descent" exists as if in implosion; its vertical construction keeps it in tension with gravity, in constant relation to its own vulnerability and collapse, petrifying moments of transformation. If in certain Mesoamerican rituals sculptures are broken during the ceremony, then the works presented here inhabit a second moment of incorporation of those entities— that of their monstrous recomposition from their fragments.

         Xolot is one of the guiding beings in this body of work; in Nahuatl, it means "monster" and is related to an ancient Mesoamerican metaphor for transformation. Within its meanings is one that refers to the installation Neobiota: the being that possesses a scission. Constitutively abject and abnormal, mischievous, especially sexually, split from itself and transgressor of the borders, this being continues to give us clues on how to desire fiercely. Canseco's sculptural practice is not only about bringing life to inert figures but also about limiting the agency that beings considered too powerful have over us. In the same gesture, she questions the fundamental division between the viewer and that which is seen; the perritas that inhabit this exhibition lack eyes and have a demand: to momentarily become them, lending them our eyes to see ourselves through their gaze, but only because, by looking through their eyes, you have stolen them.

         Canseco's work shows us that love, earth, anger, and passion are interconnected. They ignite through contact with an agitation imagined as fire. Indeed, the line that separates the inflammable from the incombustible divides our reality and modulates our perception of passion and intimacy. In the southern part of Mexico, two tribes share the same territory: in one, bodies inflame the desires of other bodies, and in the other, they liquefy their entrails. But in both, beneath the mass of images, verbal variations, moods, and tactile experiences, there is a stable, dense, slow, and fertile oily substance that vegetates darkly within us. It is beyond the reach of any of our senses: "they are beasts that charge at us in the darkness of matter" and become visible when imagination lets them "sing reality."
Karla Ekaterine Canseco (b. 1995, San Fernando Valley, California) is an interdisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles and Mexico City. Her practice explores care, love, and violence through different mediums, particularly clay and performance. She is drawn to how matter carries information that has been passed down and is present; Our bodies collapse conceptions of time and hold stories in the same manner clay transcribes in its composition and impression, like a cannibalization of touch. In making she invites her history within, daydreams, and poetics to materialize into sculptures forming her personal and shared mythologies. She is interested in how her inherited mythologies are dislocated from time allowing them to continuously unfold. She is currently conjuring a militia of canines, guards and guides of love.

Performance Documentation

Installation Views

Selected Work

Pedazos de perra, 2023
Clay, glaze,leather, ribbon, metal, silicone, fur 
80 x 42 in

Incisivos (Incisors), 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, ribbon
27 x 13 x 26 in

Cuerpo canino, 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, dog teeth found at Volcan Xitle
42 x 14 in

Alcanzó (Reached), 2024
Clay, glaze, metal
63 x 20 x 20 in

Cuerpo de acero, grietas de acero Body of steel, steel crevices, 2024
Clay, glaze, metal
64 x 24 in

Rock that weeps desire. Perras sedientes, (perra en cuatro)/ rocas que lloran deseo. Perras sedientes (perra en cuatro), 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, water
20 x 18 x 12 in

Sumergida en suenos de aguas negras (Submerged in black water dreams), 2024
Clay, glaze, water, charcoal, motor oil
20 x 14 x 15 in
 Bebe orejona (Big eared baby), 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, ribbon
48 x 13 x 13 in

Vasija abierta (Open vessel), 2024
Clay, glaze, metal
30 x 19 x 14 in

Creature starving, tummies full of petrovisions (Criatura hambrienta, panzitas llenas de petrovisiones), 2024
Bronze, motor oil
8 x 16 x 5 in
Neobiota, 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, water, motor oil, charcoal, stucco
Dimensions Variable
Lame patas (Paw licker), 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, chain link
13 x 10 x 9 in
United in dereliction (Unidos en el abandono), 2024
10 x 10 x 5 in
Rock that weeps desire. Perras sedientes, (perra sentada)/ rocas que lloran deseo. Perras sedientes (perra sentada), 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, water
17 x 17 x 17 in
Stalagmite; an unusual descent (Estalagmita; un descenso inusual), 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, water
65 x 22 x 16 in
Huesos tenaces (Tenacious bones), 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, silicone, grout, chain
36 x 35 in
Rock that weeps desire. Perras sedientes / rocas que lloran deseo. Perras sedientes, 2024
Clay, glaze, metal, water, leather
38 x 15 x 14 in

Photos by Josh Schaedel

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