Saturday, January 20, 2007

Frontera 450+

450+ for the approximate number of women who have been murdered or are missing in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

I finally went to see the exhibit today with Rey and the kids. All of the works of art are great in their own way, because each one is an expression by that artist. Of course we have our favorites. My daughter's, Rey's and my favorite is the mixed media sculpture of the woman lying in the sand entitled "Who Are You?" by Sharon Kopriva. This one is simple but a lot of thought went into the detail. It's haunting and makes you think about these poor women found naked in the sand. She wears only a produce sack and her hair is made from a mop. The texture of her skin makes me think of a woman found in a state of decomposition.

The artist says "she is a product of Mexico but her blood is on the hands of Mexico, the USA, and the world." Many of these women move from small towns from the South of Mexico to come there to work in Juarez at the American companies for a mere $4 a day! Four dollars! Can you imagine that? How many millions and billions do these American companies make and all they pay these women is $4. It's unbelievable, isn't it? These women who move there to work for them and sometimes lose their lives in the process. What are these companies doing to help stop these deaths or to find out what is happening to these women?

My daughter's first favorite and my second favorite piece is David Krueger's "Maria de la Arena Seca." This is the first piece that greets you as you enter the Station, Museum of Contemporary Art. It's a large sculpture, half woman with skin and half skeleton. She's standing on a sort of altar and she has candles around her and a part of a barbed wire fence. Blood drips from her body and on to a pair of handcuffs at her feet. The altar sits on sand and there are several items in the sand, such as shoes, shiny items, trash, and roses.

My third favorite is Angela Dillon's "El Arbol de la Vida." It's a tree formed out of red crosses. It reminded me of the many trips to Mexico in my life. When I was young, and before they made the new fast highway, we would take a narrow treacherous road from the border into Montemorelos or El Cercado. It was lined with white crosses for the poor souls who lost their lives there. I would always look out the window and I would count the white crosses along the way. I thought of the sad families who placed these crosses there to remember their loved ones. This tree reminded me of those crosses, except these are red, like the blood of the girls that was shed. Those deaths on the road were car accidents. These deaths were senseless and cruel.

One that also deserves mentioning and probably ties with “El Arbol de la Vida” is Norwegian artist, Lise Bjorne’s “Desconocida-Unknown-Ukjent.” She collected names of victims and also “unknowns” embroidered in thread on small labels by women around the world. She lined up these names in Morse code to write out the Mexican National anthem. It is unfinished because it won’t be completed until the last woman is identified. Very sad…

I also really enjoyed the short video documentary. I don't see it listed on the list on the Station website. You can go there and click through for more information on this exhibit and it will give you a list of each artist. Then you can click on the name of the artist and you can see each work of art. Go see it in person, it's worth the trip, but the exhibit ends next Sunday, the 28th, so try to make it this week.


Coco said...

Thank you for the "link".

I'm hoping this exhibition makes it San Francisco/Bay Area...
I would love to see it!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Un fuerte y caluroso abrazo, amiga.


Adam Luis said...


Mom and I are going to try and see it before it ends. She told me about way back when, but we just haven't gotten the time to go and see it.