As part of our ongoing partnership with Artillery, today we bring you author Seth Hawkins‘s report on the Laguna Art Museum’s exhibition ex·pose: Beatriz da Costa, a posthumous retrospective of the artist’s work. Only thirty-eight years old at the time of her death last year, da Costa was an artist who, in Hawkins’s words, was “brave enough, strong enough and inspired enough to allow us to view the most intimate of battles, in a beautiful, memorable, and artistic way.” This article was originally published on September 3, 2013.
From the light, airy and playful feelings of the Laguna Art Musem’s Faux Real exhibition on the main floor, the atmosphere of ex·pose: Beatriz da Costa shifts into dark, moving, and intense as one descends into the museum’s dark basement.
Da Costa’s Dying for the Other (2011–12) is a three-channel video installation dealing with the artist’s lifelong battle with cancer, with the show occurring not even twelve months after her passing—a timely and haunting exhibition of her last creation.
Beatriz da Costa made work that refused genre classification—seamlessly transitioning between contemporary art, science, engineering, and politics—in many cases working in collaboration with forerunning art/technology groups such as Critical Art Ensemble, Free Range Grains, GenTerra, and Preemptive Media. Born in 1974 and raised in Germany, da Costa attended Carnegie Mellon University, eventually moving on to teach in the Studio Art, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Departments at UC Irvine.