Carlos Motta’s multi-disciplinary art practice documents the social conditions and political struggles of sexual, gender, and ethnic minority communities in order to challenge dominant and normative discourses through visibility and self-representation. As a historian of untold narratives and an archivist of repressed histories, Motta is committed to in-depth research on the struggles of post-colonial subjects and societies. His work manifests in a variety of mediums including video, installation, sculpture, drawing, web-based projects, performance, and symposia.
His work was the subject of survey exhibitions including Stigmata, MAMBO Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá (2023); Your Monsters, Our Idols, Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus (2022); Carlos Motta: Formas de libertad at the Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, Colombia (2017) that traveled to Matucana 100, Santiago, Chile (2018) and Carlos Motta : For Democracy There Must Be Love, Röda Sten Konsthall, Gotheburg, Sweden (2015).
His solo exhibitions at international museums include We Got Each Other’s Back, PICA, Portland (2020); The Crossing, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2017); Histories for the Future, Pérez Art Museum (PAMM), Miami (2016); Réquiem, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) (2016); Patriots, Citizens, Lovers, PinchukArtCentre, Kiev (2015); Gender Talents, Tate Modern, London (2013); La forma de la libertad, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, Mexico (2013); We Who Feel Differently, New Museum, New York (2012); Brief History, MoMA/PS1, New York (2009); and The Good Life, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia (2008); among others.
Motta also participated in the 58th Carnegie International, USA (2022); the 11th Berlin Biennale (2020); Incerteza Viva, 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016); Burning Down the House, 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014); and Le spectacle du quotidien, Lyon Biennale (2010). His films have been screened at the Rotterdam Film Festival (2016, 2010); Toronto International Film Festival (2013); and Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur (2016); among many others.His work is in the permanent collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Barcelona; Museu Fundaçao Serralves, Porto; and Museo de Arte de Banco de la República, Bogotá; among many other institutional, corporate and private collections around the world.
Carlos Motta has been awarded the Vilcek Foundation’s Prize for Creative Promise (2017); the PinchukArtCentre’s Future Generation Art Prize (2014); and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2008).
A comprehensive monograph of his work, Carlos Motta : History’s Backrooms, was published by SKIRA in 2020.