A message we often don't want to hear - Albuquerque Journal

A message we often don’t want to hear

Borders, bottles and barbed wire.

Artists working along the U.S.-Mexico border bring both the danger and terrible beauty of these arbitrary political crossings to life through sculpture, printmaking, photography, installation and film.

These borders divide both cultures and families. Indigenous people who traditionally straddled both sides can no longer hunt game across these borderlines.

“The U.S.-Mexico Border” opens on Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Albuquerque Museum. The show is being presented in conjunction with the companion exhibition at 516 ARTS opening Jan. 27. The museum show features works by two Los Angeles artists augmented by works from the permanent collection and major loans.

The colorful works of New Mexico’s Luis Jiménez will hang alongside the stark border photographs by former Albuquerque photographer Delilah Montoya.

“Border Crossing,” 1987 by Luis Jiménez. Lithograph with chine collé on paper. (Courtesy of The Albuquerque Museum)

Jiménez’s “El Buen Pastor” (1999) is a lithograph of a haloed goatherd gathering his flock as yucca-disguised border patrol agents loom in the background. The piece depicts the 1997 killing of 18-year-old Esequiel Hernandez in Redford, Texas; Hernandez was mistaken for a drug smuggler. Jiménez shows him as a Christ-like good shepherd cuddling a kid. The piece balances both propaganda and fine art, curator Andrew Connors said.

Now at the University of Texas at Austin, Montoya shot desert landscapes scattered with the ghostly remnants of those who made the sometimes deadly border crossing. An empty water bottle, a dry arroyo, a child’s pink backpack all tell stories amid the donated water tanks above them.

The Native American Postcommodity art collective filmed an installation on the Arizona-Mexico border marked by giant balloons in “Repellent Fence” (2015). Postcommodity member/conceptual artist Raven Chacon lives in Albuquerque. A large eye and/or target splashes each oversized yellow orb to the hum of drone music.

The artists lifted the circular design from agricultural signs mounted on flexible steel to scare away owls, Connors said.

“We’re treating human beings as pests,” he added.

Located in both Douglas, Ariz., and Agua Prieta, Mexico, in the Sonoran Desert, the two adjoining areas once shared cultures, including a horse race along the border wall. The installation was featured at the 2015 Whitney Biennial.

“Border Crossing” by Bob Haozous, 1994, painted steel. (Courtesy of Bob Haozous) 

Chiricahua Apache sculptor Bob Haozous’ painted steel “Border Crossing” (1991) features the bucolic image of a road through a cloud-flecked desert on one side, with a surveillance plane, a border guard and tangles of barbed wire on the back.

“His voice is so powerful and necessary for us to hear,” Connors said. “The reason is Bob often tells us things we don’t want to hear.”

Home » Entertainment » Arts » A message we often don’t want to hear

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

NM student recites poetry at White House reading event
ABQnews Seeker
First lady hosts young poets from ... First lady hosts young poets from around US
Festival poster artist Amado Peña's work an homage to ...
Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival: ... Rio Grande Arts & Crafts Festival: Balloon Fiesta Show runs from Thursday, Sept. 30, through Sunday, Oct. 2, and Oct. 6-9.
Marita Hinds named education director at MIAC
ABQnews Seeker
The Museum of Indian Arts & ... The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC) in Santa Fe has a new director of Education. Tesuque Pueblo member Marita Hinds started the ...
New concertmaster to make NMPhil debut Sept. 25
On Sunday, Sept. 25, Cármelo de ... On Sunday, Sept. 25, Cármelo de los Santos will give his first concert with the New Mexico Philharmonic at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, playing the ...
Now is the time to prep for moving citrus ...
It's time to start to monitoring ... It's time to start to monitoring your trees for any pests that could be congregated or hidden on the citrus.
'Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium' explores the understudied iconographic ...
Opening on Sept. 30, at the ... Opening on Sept. 30, at the New Mexico State University Art Museum, 'Contemporary Ex-Votos: Devotion Beyond Medium' sheds light on this understudied
Former reporter pulls from personal experience in 'The Power ...
Elizabeth 'Digger' Doyle is the protagonist ... Elizabeth 'Digger' Doyle is the protagonist of Rosalie Rayburn's lively, crisply-written debut novel 'The Power of Rain.'
One-woman play 'Katie's Tales' debuts at Fusion's Cell Theatre
Fresh off a run at the ... Fresh off a run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Agnieszka Kazimierska's one-woman play debuts at Fusion's Cell Theatre on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.
A look at five pieces exploring the intersections of ...
Exhibit on view at the National ... Exhibit on view at the National Hispanic Cultural Center