A Listen Into william cordova’s Headphones

cordova 3
ache: interpretando constelaciones, 2004. Digital color video, with sound, 3 min., 22 sec. Courtesy the artist and 80M2 Livia Benavides, Lima.


In celebration of the opening of william cordova now’s the time: narratives of southern alchemy on the evening of April 26, we asked the artist to create a 10-song playlist and outline why these songs are inspired or connected to the exhibition and artist.

Blank Project – Neneh Cherry

Umbabarauma – Jorge Ben

Amampondo – Miriam Makeba     

Look at us – John Trudell  

Toro Mata – Lucila Campos    

Cop killer – Body Count

All wild DJ’s he will tame – Vicious Bass 

Si’m fe ou Bagay – Althiery Dorival

America Latina – Nicomedes Santa Cruz

Tribute to Obabi (Ogun) – The Last Poets

cordova explained:

The idea of selecting 10 songs that inspired or that are connected to the artist/exhibition is difficult to assess because the process of developing can only occur with critical discourse and constant analysis of the internal/external environment. Music, cinema, literature, memory history, and the quotidian. These are essential tools that most people embrace early in their lives as a way of forming identity but in the process sometimes lose or forget those magical moments that enchanted us in the first place.

cordova 2
Laberintos (after Octavio Paz y Gaspar Yanga), 2003–09. Vinyl record jackets and LPs. Approximately 13 feet x 12 inches x 13 feet. Collection Museo de Arte de Lima. Comité de Adquisiciones de Arte Contemporáneo

I can think of an infinite amount of audio compositions indirectly/directly related to the exhibition or my practice. On August 22, 1992, Hurricane Andrew was 24 hours away from South Florida while I was at the Lollapalooza Festival at the old Bicentennial Park, standing in the exact location where Pérez Art Museum Miami now sits, watching Body Count perform Cop Killer. The previous August, 1991, I had the fortune to get a sneak audio preview of All wild DJ’s he will tame from MC Madness (AKA Damion Thurston) my best friend Kasha’s older brother. MC Madness along with DJ Lace (Jorge M. Jaramillo) made up Vicious Bass. They helped pioneer Miami’s/Booty Bass genre and were the first to cross over to into Freestyle music with Shake that Thang in 1988.

Growing up and listening to Lucha Reyes, Lucila Campos, Victoria Santa Cruz, Jorge Ben, and Nicomedes Santa Cruz and then being introduced to John Trudell and The Last Poet’s enhanced my appreciation for words, reading, literature, etc. All of those compositions and words still invoke past moments and maintain an esprit de corps.

william cordova now’s the time: narratives of southern alchemy is on view through October 7, 2018.

Leave a Reply