Mixed Media Installations
Obrere Internacional, 2022
Dimensions: Textile: 19' x 3.6' ft.
Table: 4' x 3.33' x 2.3' ft.
Ancestors eat and speak over this table, constructed out of a repurposed shipping pallet formerly used to transport food and goods across borders. Their physical bodies are no longer there but their actions, movements, and purposes have clung to the table cloth and there they remain, visualized by hand-drawn ballpoint pen drawings.
Naming this project Obrere Internacional after a 19th-century Mexican radical, worker-centered newspaper honors the workers of the world fighting for collective land rights, autonomy, and self-determination.
19 feet of pañuelos hand-sewn together make a mantel. The mantel lays draped on a table constructed out of a repurposed shipping pallet. On the hand-sewn mantel are four visualizations of my rumination on collective and personal histories, locations, and people within Zapatismo.
Composed on the mantel non-chronologically, the drawings honor the historical multiplicity and nonlinear temporalities important to many indigenous communities and embodied in the communiques of El Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional.
Pañuelos were chosen as surfaces for these images because of the significant place they hold, culturally and personally. The pañuelos stitched together makes a mantel for the table and alludes to stories being told over meals and foods.
Wanting to employ materials used in the transport of produce to comment on economic imperialism still in practice today, and how the transportation of goods is directly involved, a re-puposed shipping pallet is recycled into a table top. It is also in the vein of rasquachismo–a practice of resourcefulness. A resourcefulness that I have used always; it is not an aesthetic but a necessity.
My goal with this piece is to resurface important histories of 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.
Special thanks to the Northwest Film Forum's Collective Power Fund grant for making this project possible.