Gasworks presents the first UK solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Gala Porras-Kim. Her work investigates the institutional frameworks that define, legitimise and preserve cultural heritage, looking at the global circulation of precolonial artefacts extracted from their original sites and stored in museum collections in the West.
Porras-Kim’s work questions the ethical principles of museum conservation while inviting the viewer to assign new meanings to artefacts displayed within institutions. Her exhibition at Gasworks examines the (after)life of sacred objects at the British Museum, thinking through ways of compromising with their otherworldly original owners.
Interrogating whether it’s possible for objects at the British Museum to still perform their original function as spiritual offerings, Porras-Kim’s exhibition unravels the many worlds colliding in these powerful artefacts, from institutional frameworks and colonial histories to stars, cosmologies and forces greater than us.
Gala Porras-Kim is an artist born in Bogota and based in Los Angeles. Her work has been featured at the São Paulo Biennial; Gwangju Biennale; Whitney Biennial; LACMA, Los Angeles; and Made in LA Biennial, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. She has received awards including Creative Capital, Joan Mitchell Foundation, and Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. She was a recent Radcliffe fellow at Harvard, and is currently artist-in-residence at The Getty.