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Queer Califas 23
Queer Califas 23

Fri, Jan 27



Queer Califas 23

Curated by Rubén Esparza. Amina Cruz, Vicente Ugartechea AKA Trans Jesus, and Sebastian Hernandez

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Time & Location

Jan 27, 2023, 8:30 PM – 11:30 PM

Highways, 1651 18th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA

About The Event


There is a thread that connects Latinx people. It is a soulful link, which is indelible; A lineage that carries the profusion of cultures, ways, and self-identification. Many are newcomers to this country, cutting new paths. A people's centuries-long history of the colonizer and the colonized. A period when borders were blurred and undefined, where in most cases, Spanish, Portuguese, and other European surnames cloaked indigenous and African heritage. Latino(a) (x) art culture is not monolithic; there is not one story or identity. A category that encompasses many identities, origins, and histories with many subsets, in this case, a queer Latinx perspective. Responding to the current pointed social-political moments or shift beyond identity, place, or zeitgeist in their varied art practices. All are participating in a queer cultural awakening with a surging desire to tell their stories and theories. Time will tell how it weaves into the broader lineage of LGBTQ+ history. The three artists in this presentation from or connections to California: Queer Califas 23, express their artistry in real-time.  Rubén Esparza, Curator


Amina Cruz

They Are Their Own

Select photographs of Queer communities in repose or moments of exuberance. Including alternative processed Cyanotypes of BDSM masks.

Amina Cruz was born and raised in Los Angeles and Tampa, FL. She hitchhiked around the country before moving to New York City, where she earned her BFA in Photography from Parsons School of Design. She is currently enrolled at UCLA in the MFA program.

Vicente Ugartechea AKA Trans Jesus

Coñonalidad "Through a lens darkly, a vision appears."

Vicente (Transsexual Jesus) Ugartechea is a trans, first generation Mexican-American artist, researcher, and educator. Drawing from personal narrative, they explore landscapes of constructed normativities, ethnocentrism, and privilege as a way of defining and redefining issues that subsist within marginalized identities. Currently, they are interested in the potentialities of sex, gender, and sexuality, radical forms of education, assembly, resistance, and the manifestation of queer archives.

Transsexual Jesus 33:33 Shining and filtering Aníbal Quijano's 'On The Coloniality of Power' and its subsequent refractions of light through a small, transparent lens, we gaze at the resulting projection in a temporal fold of space and time. Coloniality of Gender-Maria Lugones* On the Coloniality of Being - Nelson Maldonado-Torres


Sebastian Hernandez

Teal Reticence

A new performance work above undetermined pressurized construction directed by Sebastian Hernandez.

Sebastian Hernandez is an L.A. native and multi-disciplinary indigenous artist who received a B.A. in both Art Practice and Dance and Performance Studies from the University of California Berkeley in 2016. They make art that ranges from drawings to paintings and performance art works. Hernandez employs a feminist theoretical analysis, queer theory, brownness and notions of collectivity as modes of thinking and generating works that shift and complicate Mexican and Chicano narratives in the contemporaneous social imagination. Their art making is influenced by an embedded connection to their indigenous Aztec/Mexica heritage and the history of the brown body in relation to the U.S.-Mexico borderland. Sebastian's movement-based practice is informed by their long-standing practice of danza Azteca, Vogue, and the more recent wide range of modern dance techniques they acquired at Cal. Sebastian's work inherently challenges traditional notions of space as they deal with their work's interdisciplinary nature within both art and dance contexts. Sebastian Hernandez(She/They)Artist+/Mover in Los Angeles


Curator Rubén Esparza is a multidisciplinary artist and independent curator, using the insight of both roles to synergize intensely cross-referential physical and temporary works of art and exhibitions. Exploring Queer and Latinx histories, existential trauma, and the reconciliation of his heritage, that of the colonizer and the colonized. Esparza uses analog materials alongside complex experimental digital-driven works to create sociopolitical commentary or homage to brownness and or queerness. Esparza is the founder and director of the Queer Biennial and Queer Califas.


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