A Tonic for the Imagination

Sofía Córdova's videos are a meditation on the basic nature of human beings wrapped in a critique of our contemporary social reality and environmental indifference.


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Experimental videos by Sofia Cordova are on tap Aug. 13 in Temescal.

Courtesy Sofia Cordova and Shapeshifters Cinema

The prolific Oakland multidiscipline artist Sofía Córdova possesses an ambitious imagination. Her ever-expanding experimental video series, Echoes of a Tumbling Throne (Odas al Fin de los Tiempos), is set a millennium and a half from now, when a new world order exists with the potential to transcend the hierarchies and discrimination well known to denizens of the early 21st century. This foreign yet familiar science fiction landscape, with its utopian possibilities, allows Córdova to contemplate a world where today’s marginalized minorities—racial, sexual, and gender—might conceivably live and express themselves visibly and fully. If the planet isn’t a complete smoking ruin, that is, an eventuality that Córdova acknowledges in her work.

At its core, Echoes of a Tumbling Throne is a meditation on the basic nature of human beings wrapped in a critique of our contemporary social reality and environmental indifference. The artist is intimately familiar with culture (and coastal) shocks; born in Puerto Rico, Córdova attended college in the northeast United States before trekking west to earn her MFA at California College of the Arts.

“California can be all crystals and horoscopes, but I’ve come to love that part of life here,” she told an interviewer recently, “especially in reminding myself that much of what we call ‘new age’ in this white world is actually the remnants of ancient colored ritual.”

Córdova and Matthew Gonzalez Kirkland, her collaborator in the electronic music project Xuxa Santamaria, take the stage Aug. 13 at Temescal Art Center to perform their original score in accompaniment to Echoes of a Tumbling Throne. This Shapeshifters Cinema show, part of the free (!) experimental film and performance series curated and presented by Kathleen Quillian and Gilbert Guerrero on the second Sunday evening of every month, is a tonic for the imagination.

Echoes of a Tumbling Throne (Odas al Fin de los Tiempos), Sofía Córdova with Matthew Gonzalez Kirkland, 8 p.m. Aug. 13, Temescal Art Center, 511 48th St., Oakland, ShapeshiftersCinema.com.

 

This report appears in the August edition of our sister publication, The East Bay Monthly.

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