william cordova, 2800 dowling-wasi-sangarara, detail. Photo by Anthony Rathbun.

Off the Wall: william cordova

2024 Academic Year | Site-Specific Installation | Partnership with Glassell School of Art, MFAH

September 29, 2023 – August 23, 2024
Temporarily Relocated to the Moody Center for the Arts | Flex Studio
Facebook Twitter

Due to construction at Brochstein Pavilion, the public is not able to currently access the building. 


Off the Wall, launched in 2019 and is a partnership between the Moody Center for the Arts and the Core Residency Program at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The series commissions Core alumni to create a site-specific installation for the Brochstein Pavilion, that remains on view for one year. The goal of the series is to meet students, faculty, staff, and visitors with innovative works of art in one of the most utilized spaces on campus, the café at the Brochstein Pavilion. To date, the artists commissioned for Off the Wall include Danielle Dean, Harold Mendez, Sondra Perry, and Clarissa Tossin. The latest installation by cordova will opened on September 29, from 5 – 7 pm. The work will remain on view through August 23, 2024.

Off the Wall: william cordova, 2800 dowling-wasi-sangarara, 2023 
Paint chips, acrylic, oil, graphite, and collage on cardboard. 

william cordova is an interdisciplinary cultural practitioner interested in the roots of abstraction, the history of textile encoding, and non-linear narratives. He illuminates the synthesis of memory, ritual, and mythology to further disrupt, challenge and reassess definitions of our collective landscape. His site-specific installation work is both expansive and intimate. Intersecting the economy of materials with ephemeral and spatial rhythms, he juxtaposes social-political theories and strategies taken from Third Cinema, a Latin American film movement that used fragmentation, close-up shots, and open-endedness, thus highlighting alternate visual aesthetics.  

The project 2800 dowling-wasi-sangarara is rooted in cosmogony, the scientific study of the origin of the universe and fractal structures that convey repeating geometric shapes at various scales. These repeating patterns echo structures in nature, the human body, or rituals. cordova used photographic documents of historical landmark locations, one in Houston and the other one in Cuzco, Peru, as a starting point to encode and highlight how architecture, geography, and social systems are constructed and preserved through abstraction while producing visual scenarios. The photographs were altered through material intervention to challenge and provoke the viewer to form an independent conclusion. The overall composition relates to “the reunion of broken parts” (al-jabr), a mathematical concept that also laid the ground for algebra, and is used by cordova as a tool for algorithmic storytelling. Despite the visual cacophony of forms and color, the piece invites the viewer to meditate and reflect. 

Off the Wall: william cordova is organized by Frauke V. Josenhans, Curator, Moody Center for the Arts. It is made possible by Leslie & Brad Bucher and by Susan Brochstein in memory of Raymond Brochstein.