A collaboration exhibition by Waterbound and Tierra Firme
Zeke Peña, Analise Minjarez, and Sarita Westrup at Raza Cosmica, an Oil and Cotton window gallery.
April 10 - April 23, 2015
The 11 year old boy depicted on the window is laying on the ground of the Texas desert. Heat stroke and thirsty. His ill mother is back home in Guatemala praying for his safe passage. He is on a journey with hopes to provide money for his mother’s medicine. But he won’t get up. He will pass to the other realm, the spirit world. His body won’t be found for weeks. The Tierra Firme & Waterbound collaboration explores the border, water, migration and border communities. Water jugs are left on migration routes along the border. These water jugs are often left with encouraging messages for the harsh journey migrants often face. Unfortunately there are also Border Patrol agents and private groups that sabotage these jugs by puncturing them, contaminating the water or removing them because they don't feel these people have the basic human right to access clean water. Many migrants die from thirst or other problems from the conditions they face on their journey. This installation is not only an homenaje (homage) to those who have lost their lives in search of a better one, but also an ofrenda (prayer/offering) for other migrants safe passage. The hand-made net challenges the idea of what borders are. The border divides but it also breaths and moves. Many people, communities and cultures get tangled in that net to give rise to something different. The Tierra Firme & Waterbound Collaboration is an attempt to understand the border and the broader cultural implications of the communities they affect.
Waterbound // Zeke Peña
Waterbound is and on-going transmedia project that explores the symbolic and actual role water plays in our border community. Water affects every aspect of our lives: naturally, practically, ritually/spiritually, and geopolitically. We need it to survive. The Rio Bravo/Grande is the primary source of life for our border community, it unites us. But unfortunately our border community has come to understand the river as something that divide us. The U.S. side and the Mexican side. Something that naturally brings us together is being used to divide us through the effects of militarization and commodification.
Tierra Firme// Analise Minjarez & Sarita Westrup
Tierra Firme is an experiential research project that revolves around the place and identity of artwork along the Texas-Mexico border. Fiber artists Analise Minjarez and Sarita Westrup, utilize the net as a symbol for the sky and stars shared between two countries. The tension necessary to create the knots of a net comment on the social strain between people living on separated land. In addition, the net although perceived as a barrier, provides portholes to either side of the border.