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ASU Art Museum opens "Body/Magic" a new exhibition by artist Liz Cohen
Liz Cohen, “Zwickau Routine: Yellow Inward Turn,” 2010, C-Print, 16 x 20 inches, image courtesy of the artist.

TEMPE, AZ.- “Body/Magic: Liz Cohen” presents all aspects of Phoenix-based artist Liz Cohen’s well-known “Bodywork” series for the first time. The exhibition at ASU Art Museum offers new and never-before-seen video, photographs, performance and ephemera related to this tour-de-force project.

For the original “Bodywork” series, Cohen merged two cars, the American El Camino and the East German Trabant, into one customized lowrider. Simultaneously, she transformed her own body to become a bikini model for her car, which she presented at lowrider shows in and around Phoenix, Arizona. “In the car show, there are really three kinds of people,” said the artist. “There are the car owners, the car builders and the models that represent the cars. I want to be all three.” This ongoing project examines the artist’s own identity, in-betweenness as a first-generation Colombian and a child of the Cold War whose parents favored Warsaw Pact countries over Disneyland for summer vacations.

“Bodywork” is also an exploration of femininity and the female form. “Cohen's conceptual practice challenges traditional stereotypes of female beauty,” said Julio César Morales, curator at ASU Art Museum. “She has constantly pushed the boundaries of photography and challenges traditional notions of identity by generating dialogue across issues relating to gender roles, immigration, labor and resistance. She is a very gifted artist and dedicated educator, I am very honored to be curating an exhibition based on her ‘Bodywork’ series at the museum that will be thought-provoking, beautiful and powerful.”

This exhibition is curated by Julio César Morales, curator at ASU Art Museum, with assistance from Diem Lanakai, Windgate curatorial intern at ASU Art Museum. “Body/Magic: Liz Cohen,” is supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and sponsored by Patti Parsons. An initiative presented in association with the Feminist Art Coalition (FAC).

Liz Cohen is currently a professor of photography in the School of Art in Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in photography from the California College of the Arts, a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Tufts University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from School of the Museum of Fine Art, Boston. She has received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, Louis Tiffany Foundation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Creative Capital Foundation and the Kresge Foundation. She has exhibited work at Site Santa Fe, Ballroom Marfa, the Cranbrook Art Museum, Fargfabriken and Museum Tinguely. Her projects have been written about in the New York Times, Art in America, Wired and Lowrider Magazine.

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