CalArts Podcasts

Beyond the Blue Wall: REEF Residents Fía Benitez and Simone Zapata

March 08, 2023 California Institute of the Arts Season 2 Episode 4
CalArts Podcasts
Beyond the Blue Wall: REEF Residents Fía Benitez and Simone Zapata
Show Notes

The REEF Residency is a collaboration between the School of Critical Studies, School of Film/Video, and School of Art.  Learn more about the REEF Residency

In this episode, we speak with 2022 REEF Residents, Fía Benitez and Simone Zapata. Their exhibition, Tense Renderings: the will and won’t of spatial logics, opened at The REEF Los Angeles, June 24–July 24, 2022. Tense Renderings interrogates the motivations, conditions, and limitations of maps and mapmaking. The range of works include axonometric projection drawing; feminist, communally-woven textile; speculative sea and space colonization; and interventions into legal language delineating exclusion and belonging.

Tense Renderings features 14 artists across time zones and disciplines: Jumanah Abbas, C. Bain, Amy Chiao, Natan Diacon-Furtado, Jen D’Mello, Alexsa Durrans, Christine Imperial, sj kim-ryu, Wesley Larios, Julia Saenz Lorduy, Sonya Merutka, Amanda Teixeira, Sarah Sophia Yanni, and Bz Zhang.

View Tense Renderings

24700: New Exhibition Interrogates Mapmaking in Tense Renderings: the will and won’t of spatial logics

Simone Zapata is a poet and educator from San José, CA. Her work can be found, or is forthcoming in Foglifter, The Quarterless Review, Tiny Spoon, Reed Magazine, and The Vassar Review. She serves as Managing Editor for The Beat Within, and as a poetry editor for MAYDAY. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California Institute of the Arts. 

Fía Benitez is an artist and educator living in Los Angeles. Their ongoing body of work, Root Rot, encompasses large-scale graphite drawings, collage, turn of the century artifacts, and bisque-fired ceramics. Incorporating research from public archives, works in Root Rot index the legacies of the California citrus industry and its history of indigenous dispossession, erasure of immigrant labor, and privatization of land management practices. Fía is a 2022 REEF Artist-in-Residence and a 2020 Research & Practice Fellow, with recent solo and group exhibitions at The Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles, NÉVÉ, The Reef, Tin Flats, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, 7313 Melrose, Newhall Crossings, Other Places Art Fair, and CalArts. Publications include re:connections, water / relic / spices, as well as Baest Journal, Sublevel Magazine, The Kitchen Blog, and The Vassar Review. Fía holds degrees from Vassar College and CalArts.

Beyond the Blue Wall’s Season 2 original theme music was composed and performed by Socks Whitmore (Music BFA 20). Le

Beyond the Blue Wall is a production of the CalArts Office of Advancement. You can find all of the episodes at