curated by Angelica Muro and Hector Dionicio Mendoza
Featuring work by Sita Bhaumik, Felix d’Eon, Karla Diaz, Monique Islam, Prole Arts Collective (Nosfe and Rarotonga), Isaías D. Rodríguez, and Arnoldo Vargas, this exhibition re-examines social based-phantom culture by sampling and appropriating sources that are linked to both high and low culture through use of materials that convey social-economic and political class, race, gender, and sexuality. Chafismo highlights work that moves towards the current dialogue surrounding the complexity within ChicanX practices. This often means artists giving a critical voice to prevailing theoretical paradigms that frame arte y cultura as long relegated issues that should be expanding our understanding of positionality, value, and worth. By questioning established standard tenets as idle, a new approach and visual language can emerge to probe the conventionality of what is considered broken, irreverent, or complacent.
365 South Market Street
downtown San José on the Market Street edge of
the San José Convention Center
Fri, 12-6 pm
Sat & Sun, 12-4 pm
Closed between exhibitions
Opening Reception | Inauguración: Friday, September 9, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 6:00 PM
Southern Exposure presents Estamos contra el muro | We Are Against the Wall, an exhibition by Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik in collaboration with Piñatas Las Morenitas Martínez, Little Piñata Maker, Cece Carpio (Trust Your Struggle), Iván Padilla Mónico, La Pelanga, People’s Kitchen Collective, and Norma Listman.
In this intensely divisive election season, Bhaumik and curator Michele Carlson produce a potent and nuanced response to our current social, political, and economic realities. A wall built of hand-crafted piñatas in the form of cinder blocks will dominate and divide the Southern Exposure gallery.
Walls and borders are built to protect, segregate, detain, and enact power. Donald Trump's proposed border wall projects the perception of national unity and, conversely, ascribes otherness to those who lie beyond. But borders are porous, shifting, illusive. Divorced from geographical position, Estamos contra el muro highlights how every border wall is imaginary.
Over the course of the exhibition, the wall will undergo a dramatic transformation that enacts the dynamic transactional nature of border sites. The opening reception on September 9 marks the completion of the wall’s construction with a Migration Mixtape by La Pelanga DJ collective, street food, and limited edition mini-piñatas by the Little Piñata Maker. Several days later, under cover of night, Cece Carpio of the collective Trust Your Struggle will intervene to tag and deface the wall. On September 22, the wall will serve as the literal backdrop for a public dialogue with artists and organizers working around the subject of migration. Finally, at the closing reception on October 15, we will all come together to pummel the piñatas – celebrating the destruction of the wall with a blow-by-blow narration by People’s Kitchen Collective, music by La Pelanga, and food to fuel our border crossings.
Like other political walls, the piñatas beg to be beaten down, pulverized by force, and left as a fetishized relic of times past. Bhaumik’s wall is not merely a narrative of division or a seductive solution to the problem of certain bodies. By questioning how one might unknowingly and unwittingly be complicit in its very construction, Bhaumik reminds us that, like these piñatas, all walls are built by hand.