Sofía Córdova at The Buffalo Institute for Contemporary Art

Sofía Córdova, dawn_chorus i: LAPREKUELA (still), 2016–2021. Video, color, original sound composition, 45 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.

In my Mouth the Words are Melting is the first presentation of all three works from artist Sofía Córdova’s dawn chorus trilogy, an epic series of videos and installations. The dawn_chorus trilogy reconsiders the past’s revolutionary potential; scrutinizes capitalism’s historic depredations against the Global South and their present day climatic blowback; and explores the promises and failures of technology and ritual in a post-apocalyptic world. Sofía Córdova is a Puerto Rican-born, California-based interdisciplinary artist who regularly makes work with performance, music, video, photography, sculpture, and installation. Drawing from literature and poetry to pop culture and music, Córdova conveys a plurality of lived experiences in her works that help to guide us as we face a changing relationship to our planet.

Moving from a fantastical history of our planet 500 years in the future in dawn_chorus i: LAPREKUELA (2016–2021), to a personal narrative of Puerto Rico’s recent past in dawn_chorus ii: el niágara en bicicleta, to the array of refugee experiences in contemporary California in dawn_chorus iii: the fruit they don’t have here, the disparate stories are connected through repeating imagery of birds, the presence of fruit and flora, and Córdova’s own brand of magical realism. The trilogy is a docu-fantastical synthesis of stories that weave together issues of climate change, systemic violence, capitalism, technology, colonialism, and migration. In addition, Córdova’s installation includes costumes, sculptures, paintings, and sets related to each work from the trilogy.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Córdova will work with participants of BICA School leading a walkthrough of the exhibition and a workshop on Unity Island. The exhibition will be accompanied by a newly commissioned essay. This exhibition is part of BICA’s 2022-23 exhibition series: Recovering Futures.

APRIL 21 – JUNE 17, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, April 21, 7-10 pm


Born in 1985 in Carolina, Puerto Rico, and currently based in Oakland, California, Sofía Córdova makes work that considers sci-fi as alternative history, dance music's liberatory dimensions, colonial contamination, climate change and migration, and most recently, revolution—historical and imagined—within the matrix of class, gender, race, late capitalism and its technologies. She is one half of the music duo and experimental sound outfit XUXA SANTAMARIA. Her work has been exhibited and performed internationally at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Tufts University Galleries, SFMOMA, the Arizona State University Museum, The Berkeley Art Museum, the Vincent Price Museum, the Wattis Institute, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Art Hub (Shanghai) and MEWO Kunsthalle (Germany). She has participated in residencies at Eyebeam, Headlands Center for the Arts, Mills College Museum, and the ASU Museum in Phoenix and composed and choreographed performances for the SF Arts Commission, Merce Cunningham Trust, and Soundwave Biennial. She is a recipient of a Creative Work Fund and has been the subject of a First Look feature in Art in America. Her work was recently featured in Aperture Magazine and forms part of the exhibition no existe un mundo posthuracán: Puerto Rican Art in the Wake of Hurricane Maria at the Whitney Museum of American Art.