This exhibition is generously supported by the Linda Pace Foundation.
diaspora I / II is the result of Sánchez’s* 2006 Artpace residency, and is on view once more in the Hudson (Show)Room as part of an ongoing series of exhibitions revisiting the production of former residents for Artpace’s 20 year anniversary. diaspora I / II is the result of Sánchez’s sensitivity to both the physical and cultural surroundings between Texas and Mexico, geographic areas that are similar yet disparate. The two works that occupy the gallery space—2487 and riverbank—explore the complexities of this border, and reactivate these difficult conversations in the context of present day politics. Even nine years after their production in 2006, both works remain extraordinarily politically relevant.
From low-mounted speakers the names of 2487 people are quietly stated at random sequenced intervals by the artist herself. The names are read without hierarchy, without regard to race, gender or age, thus humanizing the individuals, and reviving the memory of their struggle. The list also recalls the ever-present conditions along the border, the constant exodus of people, and the reality of the difficulties they face in an attempt to create a better life for themselves and their families. As a physical manifestation of the Mexican Diaspora, Sánchez also created riverbank, a collection of clothes, plastic bags and random accoutrement gathered from the United States side of the bank of the Rio Grande River. Each article is the ephemeral representation of the movement of people crossing the border. The objects were found in the location where individuals left them behind in an attempt to navigate the Rio Grande and cross into the country undetected.
In 2015, diaspora entered the collection of the Linda Pace Foundation, and as part of Artpace’s 20th anniversary celebration, Artpace is revisiting works that have had a strong impact on its residency program.
*Arts Member of the National System of Art Creators