undocumenta

UNDOCUMENTA

September 23, 2017–January 28, 2018

Curated By Alessandra Moctezuma

Subverting the title of one of the premier European art events by referencing the plight of the undocumented, this exhibition will focus on artistic production that takes place at the convergence of Latin America and Southern California. The San Diego/Tijuana region serves both as the birthplace and a rich experimental ground for individual artists and collectives, such as the Border Arts Workshop and Las Comadres, that have been concerned with topics related to biculturalism, migration, labor issues and human rights. Grounded within that key cultural and social framework, the exhibition will incorporate artworks by Mexican and Latino artists from both cities with a sharper focus on the recent use of technology, performance, and interactivity.

This exhibition will draw attention to as well as help further interests and passions for the socioeconomic, historical, and cultural impact of the border. The show's curator, Alessandra Moctezuma, will be working on programming for the exhibition as part of her sabbatical from San Diego Mesa College. Bilingual Spanish/English guided tours, public lectures and artist talks, and a tour of artists’ studios in Tijuana are among the programming in development.

As part of unDocumenta, artist Marcos Ramírez (known as ERRE), is constructing his version of a border wall on the façade of the museum titled Of Fence. This site-specific installation is a playful polemic against the barrier promised to be built from San Diego to Brownsville along the border with Mexico. In contrast to the competing prototypes recently erected in the San Diego sector, and currently being tested for their sturdiness and impenetrability, ERRE aims to bring the dissonance of a corrugated-rusting-camouflage metal wall and visually obliterate the elegant contemporary facade of the museum. His intention with this sculptural work is to point to the “ugliness” of the planned militarization of the border—cultural and architectural progress dashed and hidden by a shoddy structure—and have his metal wall be a reminder of the harsh experience of the border wall acting as an inhumane barrier. ERRE will offer the viewer a way to overcome this obstacle as represented by rope assault ladders akin to those used in military interventions. No matter how impenetrable the wall, there will always be desperate crossers and smugglers who will devise ways to conquer it. The title of the piece alludes both to the wall and the artistic defense mechanism that he has created.

To counter the dark tone of the piece, ERRE will also include an excerpt from a Langston Hughes’ poem Let America Be America Again:

O let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

The verses will be set on deep rust color vinyl on the large sliding windowpanes of the museum. In ERRE’s practice, language always plays an important role. The hopeful message of the poem, holding fast to the concept of an America open to the world and rich with opportunities, will contrast with the harsh reality we are facing.

Of Fence will also be in visual dialogue with Omar Pimienta’s Lady Liberty V2 inflatable sculpture on the museum’s front terrace, another reminder of the ideal of the United States as a land open to immigrants.

About The Artists
Claudia Cano

Claudia Cano is an interdisciplinary
artist whose recent works reflect
on the inequality of women in
society and the invisibility of
hard-working immigrants. Cano
has created the alter ego of Rosa
Hernández: a typical cleaning
lady, a non-English speaker who
wears a pink uniform and a
ponytail symbolizing her rural and
indigenous roots. Cano places this
underprivileged Latina in cultural
institutions or public settings. Rosa
would usually go unnoticed as a
domestic worker, but by setting
her up in an absurd situation such
as sweeping the Oceanside pier, or
along the border fence, the artist
triggers a process that forces
viewers to reconsider class and
the cultural and social relationships
between employers and immigrant
workers. The ultimate goal is to
blur art and life by engaging with
an audience and attempting to
transform their understanding of
immigration.

Teresita De La Torre

As a child, Teresita De La Torre
immigrated to the border town
of Laredo, Texas. She grew up
aware of the many injustices tied
to immigration, and how the Rio
Grande acts as a painful divider
of people. In 2016 she created
365 Days in an Immigrant’s Shirt
as both a protest and conscious
political act. De La Torre was
a volunteer depositing gallons
of water along the California/
Mexico border desert with the
organization Water Station. While
volunteering, she stumbled upon
a green plaid shirt and became
intrigued with its potential history.
Who had worn this shirt? Was its
owner a woman or a man? Had
they crossed the border safely?
In that moment of overwhelming
fascination, she decided to take
the shirt home. As both homage
and ritual, De La Torre wore the
shirt every day for a year; she
would take a self-portrait daily and
upload the image to Instagram.
This became the social media art
project #todoslosdias, excerpts of
which are on exhibit in the gallery.

Ana Teresa Fernández

Ana Teresa Fernández actively
“erases the border” in her piece
Borrando la Frontera (2012). The
performance took place along
the U.S./Mexico border where
the fence separating the two
countries dips into the Pacific
Ocean at Playas de Tijuana. The
artist’s utopian act positions her
laboring, sensual body at the
intersection of gender, culture,
and nationality. Fernández explores
the strength and vulnerability of
women in paintings, video, and
performances where she appears
doing traditional female domestic
tasks dressed in provocative
attire. As a Mexican artist who
immigrated to the U.S. to study
and build her career, the border
has become a personal symbol—a
site of possibility but also a violent
barrier.

Dominic Paul Miller

Dominic Paul Miller’s installation
Diagrama de Dependencia
was made in a trans-border
community located in the Reforma
neighborhood of Tijuana. After
shadowing the labor rights group
Ollin Calli for seven months,
Miller developed an experimental
workshop located within their
neighborhood. Participants were to
have work experience in the nearby
maquilas, or assembly factories.
The artist and the workers
collaborated for two months to
create large-scale perforated
drawings on paper through a
technique he devised. During this
period, workshop participants
also made their own individual
pieces. Photograms by Miller
record fragments of the random
drawing process into a series of
unique prints. Ultimately Miller
developed a diagram of economic
and social interdependency from
the information collected, and
all of the materials generated
were gathered into the current
exhibition.

Omar Pimienta

Welcome to Colonia Libertad is a
“burocra-artistic social-sculpture”
according to artist Omar Pimienta,
intended to generate new ideas
about citizenship and migration.
The piece draws from an 1882
original sketch by the French artist
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi of his
proposal for the Statue of Liberty
in which a pre-Columbian pyramid
served as the base support.
Pimienta imagines these two icons
as located in his neighborhood of
Colonia Libertad, a geographical
location that abuts the U.S./
Mexico border. This is one of
Tijuana’s oldest urban areas and
it is enclosed both by militarized
surveillance and walls. Pimienta
also presents the participatory
project Consulado Movil, offering
“citizenship” and a free Colonia
Libertad passport in exchange for
a cancelled one from participants.
The act of symbolically “giving up”
one’s nationality forces us to think
of the tenuous state of those who
cross borders into the unknown.

Marcos Ramírez (ERRE)

Marcos Ramírez, known as ERRE, is a
multidisciplinary visual artist
with an affinity for site-specific
projects. His artwork responds
to the Southern California and
Northern Mexico region. It is the
location where the First World
clashes dramatically with the Third
World, where the U.S.–the richest
and most powerful country in the
world–meets a still developing
Mexico and Latin America. The
reference to the social condition
of the border is present in the two
works in the galleries and most
prominently in the faux border
wall that replaces the façade of
the museum. ERRE is interested in
presenting the viewer with ways
to overcome and transcend that
barrier and he does so through
communication and perception–
how we see, how we understand
what we see, and how we build a
position as a result.

 

UnDocumenta is part of  Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles taking place from September 2017 through January 2018. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a collaboration of arts institutions across Southern California. Through a series of thematically linked exhibitions and programs, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA highlights different aspects of Latin American and Latino art from the ancient world to the present day. With topics such as luxury arts in the pre-Columbian Americas, 20th century Afro-Brazilian art, alternative spaces in Mexico City, and boundary-crossing practices of Latino artists, exhibitions range from monographic studies of individual artists to broad surveys that cut across numerous countries. Supported by more than $16 million in grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA involves more than 70 cultural institutions from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, and from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.



Many thanks to the following sponsors for their support of this exhibition:

Lead Sponsors
Ving and Valya Simpson

Supporting Sponsor
Fenner Milton

Program Sponsors
Larry and Debra Poteet

 

PROGRAMS RELATED TO THIS EXHIBITION

november, 2017

No Events

december, 2017

sun17dec1:00 pm- 2:00 pmBilingual Guided Gallery Tours of UnDocumenta1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

thu21dec6:00 pm- 7:00 pmBilingual Guided Gallery Tours of UnDocumenta6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

  • NOTE: OMA will be closing at 2:00pm on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.