About fifteen years ago, I started this series on the issue of migration. At that time, my focus was on how it was becoming easier and easier for stuff to cross the artificial borders dividing countries while at the same time it was harder and harder for people to move freely especially if they were not white, and wished to go from the southern to the northern hemisphere, or happened to live in a country at war.
Sadly, this situation has not improved or diminished. Actually, it has tremendously worsened. According to an OECD report, during the decade of 2000-2010, 2.6 million people were forcefully displaced turning them into unwilling migrants. As a creator, I deal with this situation in a jocular way –I ‘help’ people to cross borders by hiding them inside products, or by creating imaginary contraptions to aid them in their efforts to trump the barriers imposed by those who, most of the times, are the ones causing the atrocious conditions which force them to flee their homelands. I can only hope that my work will inspire others to pay attention to this issue and that those who create the chaos will stop the dehumanizing actions that turn people into unwanted, homeless, migrants. At the rate this situation is growing, there will be more stateless people than citizens in some countries… What does this say of all of us?
Here are my just released improved devices for crossing borders undetected:
‘Human Cargo’ deals with the process of Globalization, focusing on Migrants. I involve the viewer to experience migrating situations. I do this by inducing the viewer to utilize various senses not just sight.
My work centers on the premise that globalization utilizes people of the so-called Third World but excludes them from the benefits their work produce –only their products are wanted and usually at very low prices. This causes a displacement of people, a Diaspora that affects everybody in the world. If Third World workers cannot make a decorous living in their own home, they are forced to look for alternatives – other places, other countries, becoming what the First World calls ‘illegal’ migrants. I represent this situation by ‘hiding’ migrants in products to help them cross borders. Some of the representations are ironic.
“I’m cold”. 68” x 32” x 28”. A box full of blankets where body parts of people in hiding can be spotted. Sound: Conversations of the people in hiding can be heard.
Copper Sulphate. 4’ x 3’ x 3’. Canvas container with warnings about its dangerous chemical contents. People in hiding can be spotted. Sound: Conversations of the people in hiding can be heard.
Coronas. Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”. It represents a well-recognized Third World manufactured product in which people are hiding.
Peas. Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”.
Jumex I. Acrylic on canvas, 80” x 32” Jumex II. Acrylic on canvas, 80” x 32”
Zzum Shoxs. Mixed media. 12” x 4” x 4”. Special shoes to project wearer across borders –see label.
Spectral Thixotropic Accelerator Suit. Mixed media. 12” x 12” x 2”. State-of-the-art suit that will aid the wearer to permutate becoming invisible and undetectable – see label.
We are here because you went there. Acrylic on canvas, 47” x 76 1/2”.