Essential Arts: Indigenous views of the border in exhibitions in Arizona and New Mexico
Shows in Phoenix and Santa Fe take on the border. Plus, Alison Saar's must-see survey and pieces of old LACMA find new life, in our weekly arts newsletter.
Gabriela Muñoz(both of whom identify as Latinx) pay tribute to Indigenous women living in the border town ofAgua Prietawho work collectively to share knowledge on a range of cultural and economic issues. And a series of wry linocut prints byMakaye Lewis
(Tohono O’odham) capture the vagaries of life along the border — in which to be Indigenous is to be suspect and to be subjected to the continuous surveillance of border authorities. Strangers on their own land.AdvertisementParticularly visceral is an installation by
Daisy Quezada Ureña(Mexican American), whose featured works depict articles of women’s clothing — principally undergarments — hung on plastic spikes that emerge from the wall. In some cases, she renders the clothing in porcelain, which gives these personal items an unsettling, ghostly sheen. Another sculpture by the artist features a woman’s shirt supported against the wall by a metal fence post. headtopics.com
Redolent of sexual violence, the sculptures are a gripping memento mori to thesteep bodily price often paid by female immigrantsto the United States.Daisy Quezada Ureña takes on sexual violence at the border in her installation “Untitled,” 2020 at the Wheelright Museum in Santa Fe.
(Ben Calabaza / Wheelwright Museum)These are difficult subjects. But even as these exhibitions offer an unblinkered view of the ways in which policy can play out in real and violent ways, they also reflect the ways in which artists and communities can come together — to work, to tell a story and to show resilience in the face of political forces that don’t see people, only the imaginary geopolitical line.
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