Drawing upon the division and displacement of families affected by immigration policies, Santa Fe-based artist Daisy Quezada’s latest ceramic and mixed-media installation Desplazamiento/Contención (Displacement/Containment) is featured in a group exhibition Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place at the Denver Art Museum (Denver, Colorado, February 19 – October 22, 2017).
Quezada’s work aims to substantiate a voice of being devalued, lost and cast aside by their culture. Informed by her own cultural background from Mexico and the United States, her installation bridges personal and social identity, as well as place in relation to the diaspora affecting the undocumented community within the US.
I collected articles of clothing from immigrants and first-generation youth in the Denver and Santa Fe area to create a porcelain sculpture within a larger installation. With audio recorded along the border zone with individuals, the installation aims to bring a voice to immigrants.
As the culmination of identities — collected and externalized — each garment carries inherent vulnerability as an imprint of a human being’s past state.
Each garment underwent a transformation in porcelain slip to achieve its blousy appearance. Quezada’s work specifically employs an altered lace draping technique to achieve the delicate folds. For this particular installation, Quezada then placed each garment in a large cardboard box in front of a representation of the existing US-Mexico border fence. The fence, however, acts as a partial barrier leaving open a gap (perhaps for possibility?) delineated by a stark lighting effect.
Quezada’s work is extremely poignant as a number of cities across the country, including her home base of Santa Fe, are formally rejecting the current administration’s immigration policies. Her other works include similar garments buried in a shallow desert grave or delicately hung from shade-denying low-growing trees found along border zones. Check out more of her artful activism here.
The group exhibition features installations by emerging and mid-career Latino artists that express experiences of contemporary life in the American West, according to DAM.
We hope their installations will inspire a new way of thinking, and offer salient perspectives about the human experience and the relationship between our sense of place and the world views we develop throughout our lives. With migration on the rise worldwide, these artists eloquently explore its transformative effects on both sides of the Mexico-United States border.
Text (edited) from Denver Museum of Art.
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