María José Crespo has created an environment that layers human presence, land and water politics, and an ever-changing territory into a border poem. Specifically, her exhibition, Flaws in negotiation with non-cohesive sand, references the US – Mexico border and how it functions and adapts through time, space and materiality.
The gallery installation presents a landscape with a relationship of lights and reflections between the works. The voluminous sculptural works of steel, plaster, wood, and glass pay tribute to infrastructure and excess of materials visible along the border due to years of human construction and interaction. The video projection replicates informal communication through reflected light across a large landscape as a dancing flicker. The collage mural combines maps, treaties, photographs, documents, and artistic research strategies to create an alternative narrative of history.
While many of the materials in Crespo’s works are recognizable, such as the car window from which viewers could view a landscape, the steel pipes that extend from Artpace’s architectural construction, or the formal practices of painting, collage and film, the artist now employs methodologies for collecting elements as found objects. From Mexico, the artist has recently begun to work internationally and thus her border materializes through “web-scraping” and visits to archives instead of site visits. Her sourced materials include historical photographs and documents, yet they also document distance through the blurred yellow tape or a light reflection from archive reading room settings. Likewise, bar codes, google maps, and even border security chats are among the poetic details in Crespo’s art.