Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Pepper Visiting Artist & MCSI Lecture – Gala Porras-Kim

December 5, 2023 @ 4:15 pm - 5:30 pm

Poster for event

Internationally renowned artist, Gala Porras-Kim will present her ongoing research on archaeological objects, institutional histories, museum ethics, and collecting practices, in relation to her upcoming Spring exhibition at Pitzer College Art Galleries. Porras-Kim’s research-based practice explores the relationships between
objects and artifacts and the institutions that care for, collect and display them.

Gala Porras-Kim’s work often takes the form of meticulous drawings of ancient objects in various states of disrepair, relocated from the site of excavation to museum exhibition halls and storage facilities. Her exhibition at Pitzer College Art Galleries will focus on an evolving body of work based on artifacts extracted from Chichén Itzá, an important archeological site of the Classic and Post-classic Maya in the Mexican state of Yucatán.

Since the twentieth century, archeologists have removed, often by dubious means, thousands of objects from this site, objects which have then found their way into museum collections across the world. The series of works by Porras-Kim featured in this exhibition references the work of antiquarian Edward Herbert Thompson, who extracted objects from the “Sacred Cenote” at Chichen in the first decade of the twentieth century using a dredge and divers. Site of ritual offerings, the well contained many ceremonial objects sent there as tribute to the Rain God. Many of the objects represented in her drawings were recovered through techniques that irreparably damaged the artifacts and obliterated contextual information. While Porras-Kim’s work exposes this complicated history, her primary focus is on the relationships between objects and artifacts and the institutions that care for, collect, and display them.


Gala Porras-Kim (b. 1984, Bogota: lives and works in Los Angeles) received an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of California. Los Angeles (2012), an MFA from California Institute of the Arts (2009, and BA from University of California, Los Angeles (2007). Solo exhibitions have been held at REDCAT, Los Angeles (2023); Fowler Museum, Los Angeles (2023); Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla (2023); Museo Universitario de Arte contemporaneo, Mexico City (2023): and others. Her work has been presented in numerous national and international group exhibitions. including the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. Seoul (2023): Liverpool Biennial (2023): 34th Bienal de São Paulo (2021): and more. Porras-Kim is a recipient of many acclaimed awards including an Art Matters Foundation Grant (2019). Artadia Los Angeles Award (2017) and Joan Mitchell Foundation emerging Artist Grant (2016).


The Gala Porras-Kim exhibition is co-curated by Professor of Media Studies & Director of MCSI Jesse Lerner and Ciara Ennis, Director of de Saisset
Museum, Santa Clara University



December 5, 2023
4:15 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:


Benson Auditorium
1050 N. Mills Avenue
Claremont, CA 91711 United States
+ Google Map


Dean of Faculty