Mix-Media Installations

Obrere Internacional, 2022

The title Obrere Internacional comes from a 19th-century Mexican radical, worker-centered newspaper. It connects the project to the workers of the world fighting for collective land rights and autonomy from colonial, capitalist powers. 

19 feet of pañuelos hand-sewn together to make a mantel lay draped on a table made out of a shipping palette. On the hand-sewn mantel are four drawings that reflect my rumination on collective and personal histories, locations, and people within Zapatismo. 

Composed on the pañuelos in a non-chronological order, the drawings honor the historical multiplicity and seamless continuity of time important to many indigenous communities and embodied in the communiques of El Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional.

Pañuelos were chosen to hold these images because of the significant place they hold culturally and personally. The embroidery pañuelos stitched together as one acts as a mantel for the table and alludes to stories being told over meals and foods. 

My choice of making the table out of wooden pallets comes from wanting to employ materials used in the transport of produce. This will hopefully open a conversation about economic imperialism still in practice today and how the transportation of goods is directly involved. It is also in the vein of rasquachismo–a practice of resourcefulness as art. Resourcefulness that I have used all of my life. It is not only an aesthetic but a necessity. Using wooden pallets instead of a readymade table allows me, a Latinx artist from a working-class background with no outside funding, the ability to realize this piece.

My goal with this piece is to share important and often overlooked stories of contemporary and historical agrarian-reform-based radical actions led by working-class communities, encourage comparisons between then and now in a way that muddles linear temporalities, bring US imperialism in Mexico into critical view, and honor the communities in Mexico and Los Angeles that have and continue to fight for land justice and against capitalistic imperialism and greed.

It is a remembrance and honoring of where we come from, where we have been and
where we will go, physically and metaphysically.