a volcano sculpture floating above a river

Beatriz Cortez Sails a Steel Volcano up the Hudson

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As the story goes, a sixth-century volcano blasted the skies of what’s now El Salvador and thrust the Mayan civilization into a yearlong winter. Its ashes blanketed the globe, drifting from the Americas to Antarctica. The L.A.-based artist Beatriz Cortez thinks of this ash as a sacred connection to the Mayan underworld—and pays tribute to it with a performative sculpture Ilopango, the Volcano that Left.

The steel volcano was welded in Saché, France, then shipped across the Atlantic to her studio for completion. On Oct. 27, the work will sail up the Hudson River from Storm King to the Troy campus of EMPAC-Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, with viewing points on both shores of the river and a livestream tracking the movement in an exploration of what sculptures carry with them as they change locations, and what they leave behind.

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Main Image: Beatriz Cortez, Study for Ilopango, the Volcano that Left, 2023. Composite Image with Hudson River by Michael Valiquette / EMPAC. Photo by Phillip Byrne, courtesy the artist and Commonwealth and Council.

October 24, 2023


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