January 28 - April 1, 2023
“To Have and to Hold is an exhibition of new work by Virginia Colwell (Mexico City, born Nebraska, 1980), whose work operates in the ambiguity of truth and fiction in history and archives. By looking at the similarities of the landscape, and particularly that of the Southern United States and its similarities with the state of Veracruz, Mexico, Colwell uses the romanization of the South to examine the deliberate obfuscation of the deep history of enslavement and racism.
To Have and to Hold exposes the profound history of perpetuated erasure, of a racialized past, and our own present state of denial. Sited at Co-Lab Projects, the exhibition refers to and is relevant to Austin, Texas through a shared connection of the ball moss and vegetation that exists naturally in the city. This landscape ties us to the roots of historical subjugation, and is evidenced in the history of the city of Austin and the State of Texas.
Virginia Colwell’s work examines the space between official and unofficial histories and the poetic ambiguities of truth and fiction in historical narratives. Often, her artworks begin in archives: her father’s FBI archive with its Caribbean case files, the archives of clandestine Puerto Rican revolutionaries from the Cold War, the US embassy archives analyzing the El Salvadorian Marxist insurgency, and archives about Mexican political corruption of the 1970s. Her drawings, sculptures, and videos reinvestigate these pasts through site visits, interviews, research, and requests for declassified documents.
Colwell’s works have been exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Art in Lithuania, the Hirschorn Museum in the United States, the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art in Rome, and the Centro Cultural Félix Varela during the 12th Havana Biennial. She has been an artist in residence with Beta-Local’s La Prática program in Puerto Rico, Kiosko in Bolivia, Untitled Art Fair’s Fountainhead Residency program in Miami, and the multimedia art center Hangar in Barcelona, Spain. Colwell has received numerous awards including the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Award, a Pollock Krasner Foundation Fellowship, and a Jumex Foundation Grant. Her work is part of various private and public collections including the Alumnos Foundation, the Axa Collection, the Benetton Foundation, and the collection of the Museo Reina Sofia.
This project is the recipient of a Jumex Foundation Grant to support production and research. This is the first in an ongoing series exploring the relationship between the landscape and history.”
Closing: April 1, 2023 | 6–8 pm
Co-Lab Projects @ Glissman Road
5419 Glissman Road
Austin, 78702 TexasGet directions