about the exhibition
New Works 06.2
Luz María Sánchez
San Antonio, Texas
July 06–September 10, 2006about the artist
Luz María Sánchez’s immersive environments heighten attention to the global landscape, challenging responses to its aural and visual details. By capturing, isolating, and amplifying individual parcels of perceptive data in sound and video installations, she demarcates new spaces in which cultural and bodily preconceptions are refocused and, ultimately, reconfigured.
Her projects, often realized through precisely arranged speakers, abstract socially loaded locales–the United States/Mexico border, the Arab radio dial, an Iraqi wartime horizon, or a landfill–and re-map them as active sites of sensory participation. Repeating border-town police transmissions or replaying a siren-filled soundscape, Sánchez builds auditory arenas, minimally mediated, though which viewers must discover their own, critical place.
Born in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1971, Luz María Sánchez lives and works in San Antonio, TX. She received her MA in 2006 from the Universidad Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, where she is presently a PhD candidate. Solo exhibitions include The Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, TX (2005) and Centro Cultural Casa Vallarta, Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico (2000). Group exhibitions include Oasis Sonoro, Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico (2006); 9th Zeppelin Sound Art Festival, Andoain, Spain (2006); and 34th International Festival of Electronic Music and Sonic Art, Bourges, France (2004).
about the project
diaspora I / II combines Sánchez’s experiments into the nature of sound with a sensitivity towards her physical and cultural surroundings. Investigating Mexico’s social plight, she creates two spaces, one sonic—2487—and the other architectural/material—riverbank—to reanimate the complexities of the United States/Mexico border.
diaspora I / II’s initial gestures are more heard than seen, as spoken names sound from spare, low-mounted speakers in 2487. A role-call of absent persons, the installation records 2,487 of the estimated 8,000 who have died while trying to traverse into the United States from Mexico since 1993. Like the border, Sánchez’s list is not exclusive. It reflects the breadth of Latin America’s poverty-driven exodus, including old and young, male and female, and an ethnic spectrum of Mexican-nationals as well as other foreign citizens.
An improvised bench offers viewers a seat for contemplation. Its structure, a network of legs, resembles the code that randomly samples and sequences Sánchez’s database. Written specifically for 2487, the program raises name after name out of silence and into organic arrangement. This act of calling, basic but defining, restores these lost individuals to the present. Overlapping in time the names become forceful together, a symbol of common escape and shared fate.
Accompanying the names is riverbank, an assemblage of clothes, plastic bags, and personal items collected from the United States bank of the Rio Grande. The objects, strewn beyond a wall and beneath a skylight, present the muddied attire worn by individuals as they navigated the river’s waters. Shed hastily to avoid detection on American soil, these garments stand as molted shells of unknowns. Disembodied but present, diaspora I / II stakes out a zone that all viewers may cross to find meaning in today’s political debates.
-Kurt Dominick Mueller
Graduate Curatorial Intern
Previous Artpace Exhibitions
Oct 26, 2005 Spanglish: Ricky Armendariz, Rae Culbert, Beto Gonzales, Daniel Guerrero, Ann-Michele Morales, Cruz Ortiz, Luz Maria Sanchez, Gary Sweeney