ABOUT THE ARTIST: Teresita de la Torre is an artist and educator, born in Guadalajara Jalisco, raised in Laredo, Texas and currently resides in Long Beach, CA. De la Torre earned a Master of Fine Art from California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelor of Art from Texas A&M International University. The artist has exhibited in and around Southern California, Texas, Georgia, Tijuana, Taiwan, and Berlin. She has been invited to speak at a TED X Conference in Laredo Texas, at Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, and Georgia State University Athens.
Habeas Corpus Investigation #2: Constellation Court – a Summons
Standing between a State’s
power to imprison you and your right to liberty is the Writ of Habeas
Corpus–meaning have the body, in court. This basic legal premise can
recalibrate the dance between an individual and the massive physical and social
power we have given to the government. The machinery of justice is meant to be
adversarial and the outcome unbiased, yet the machinery is overburdened and
peopled by humans harboring their unconscious biases. Once caught in the gears
of the court, with its imperative to proclaim guilty or not guilty, a fair and
holistic justice remains elusive.
Please be present for a
participatory reflection at Grand Central Art Center on the constellation of
courtroom proceedings. Within this space of image and performance, we can
visualize and embody how current court architectures structure the gaze and
voice, leaving the most affected parties to a crime generally voiceless. Here
also, we have the freedom to reshape these architectures and to play freely
with new possibilities. How might we create a space for justice to reflect
Here are a few reflection
points to bring to the conversation:
How can fairness
be structured in a way that is not so rigid that it becomes unfair again?
How can “innocent
until proven guilty” be implemented for the defendant so that being brought
into the system will not punish or cause irreparable harm to a defendant who
has not yet been judged?
How can we address
overt and implicit bias within the courtroom?
How can the victim
be supported in a way that allows that person to recover a sense of safety?
What would that safety or support look like?
What pathways are
there for a person found guilty to take accountability and redress the harm he
or she has caused, if they sincerely choose to do so?
mitigate the harm of the crime on the wider community or on future generations?
With Matthew Campbell,
Shaheed Chapple, Ray Chao, Michael Mulkey, and Paris Perrault
In December of 2017, artist Teresita de la Torre overheard a conversation between her mother and niece. Her niece was interviewing the artist’s mother in regards to her migration story and how she ended up living in the United States.
It is a story the artist knows well. She describes her mother as a storyteller, one who always shares stories of when she was a young girl, about her struggles raising seven kids, and bringing them to live in the United States for a better life and future. There was one detail that stood out during this telling. The artist’s mother, during the interview, mentioned that when she crossed the border in Tijuana using a “coyote,” she did so in red heels. The artist was in disbelief and inquired if her mother had known what she was getting herself into in terms of the crossing. Her mother responded “pues si,” but the heels were not that high and that she wanted to look “guapa” for the artist’s dad who had crossed prior and was waiting for her “en el otro lado.”
Teresita was fascinated with her mother’s story and journey, not being able to fully comprehend what her mother went through crossing the border, in the middle of the night, running through treacherous territory, in heels. It is a risky and potentially deadly situation, and in all that, her mother still factored in the male gaze and how she wanted to present herself as attractive for the artist’s father – even though the shoes got ruin running across dry soil, navigating brush, and traversing water.
Upon hearing the story, the artist asked her mother to describe the shoes, and to her surprise, her mother remembered them, almost 40 years later, in vivid detail. As the artist and her mother share the same shoe size, the artist often borrows her mother’s shoes, she pictured the shoes in her mind and on her own feet. The artist sketched a drawing of the shoes a red colored pencil, as she sat with her mother who described in detail – wedges, not heels, not super high, how they wrapped and straddled the heel, the latch, and how the eight straps interlaced the front of the shoe.
Using that sketch, the artist decided to create a replica of the shoes using cardboard, paper mache, and chicken wire, which she would wear to cross the border in a performance action to “recreate” her mother’s story and honor her sacrifice. To quote the artist, “I have citizenship status and decided to cross the border through legal points of entry, which is something that I’m very familiar with, as I grew up on the border and crossed back and forth thousands of times.” Through the initial border crossing in Tijuana, her replica red paper mache shoes got ruined. Exploring new possibilities, the artist decided to get in contact with a shoemaker and get a new pair professionally made. In collaboration with El Salvadoran immigrant, Fito Vasquez from Fito’s Shoe Repair in Pico Union, a professional replica of the red wedges was created, which were used to again cross the border in Tijuana.
Deciding to further explore the breadth of the border and her family history, the artist expanded her crossing locations beyond Tijuana, performing to cross at every point of entry that is significant to her mother and family migration story. She crossed in El Paso, where in 1991 her family had an immigration appointment in Ciudad Juarez to become residents after a twelve year of wait in Mexico. It was that location where, as a family, they crossed the border for the first time with their green cards. Her third and final performative action for the project took place in Laredo, Texas, where the family made a crossing in 1994 to settle in that community and pursue the “American Dream,” so the artist, her brothers, and sister could go to university and have a better economic future.
Inspired by that initial interview and conversation between her mother and niece, artist Teresita de la Torre premieres her exhibition antes muerta que sencilla, a series of performances, photographs, and drawings that document histories, struggles, risk, connection, love, dreams, and family.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Teresita de la Torre is an artist and educator, born in Guadalajara Jalisco, raised in Laredo, Texas and currently resides in Long Beach, CA. De la Torre earned a Master of Fine Art from California State University, Fullerton and a Bachelor of Art from Texas A&M International University. The artist has exhibited in and around Southern California, Texas, Georgia, Tijuana, Taiwan, and Berlin. She has been invited to speak at a TED X Conference in Laredo Texas, at Washington State University, Eastern Washington University, and Georgia State University Athens.
For the fifth and final phase of his ongoing exploration, Murgida will be teaching participants how to free their wrists when bound with standard zip-ties. Instead of attempting to cut or break the zip-ties, participants will learn a different technique that focus’ on “shimming” the sliding mechanism that secures the restraints in a tightened position. Last October, independent curator currently based out of Santa Ana, Maurizzio Hector Pineda, invited Murgida to participate in the show he curated in Tijuana, MX for a city-wide festival called “Happenings”. During the 5 hour event, with the help of an interpreter, Murgida taught participants this same zip-tie escape technique. As always, the event for the May Artwalk is free and open to participants of all ages and abilities.
The expression “now more than ever” may be the most representative phrase for our current climate of opposition. It precedes calls to action across political spectrums from environmental entreaties to calling out social media restrictions on conservative perspectives, to upholding freedom of the press. It is the title of a Zadie Smith short story where the protagonist ultimately falls victim to the underlying intolerance of her own ideals. The revival of the phrase reflects a pervasive sense of crisis, one that is both perceived and felt. Yet, the overuse of the slogan poses a danger in rendering it meaningless. Now does not last forever.
Now More Than Ever features the work of seven artists in the MFA and BFA programs at California State University, Fullerton. Their current work encapsulates a “now more than ever” cultural moment. The work shares an urgency as well as a distillation of social and political issues as they relate to notions of self. Jose Flores Nava boldly addresses both migrant identity and border issues in his ceramic “prototypes,” while Yara Almouradi presents portraits of Syrian refugees combining large-scale drawings with printed emails and other ephemera that provide a glimpse of their lives in exile. With a more conceptual approach, Desmond Jervis has created a seemingly understated video and sculpture installation critiquing racial representation and traditional ceramic narratives, whereas Dylan Flah explores gender through the visual trappings of sports culture.
Janan Abedelmuti, Hadley Mattwig, and Pamela Rush offer more personal explorations of identity. Through stitching,
collaged elements, and abstract marks Abedelmuti’s intimate paintings capture
emotions, thoughts, and events that document the discovery of self. Hadley
Mattwig recreates a version of her family’s living room to question how sense
of place reverberates in memory to undermine the formation of identity. In
contrast, Pamela Rush’s projected photographs present a more prescriptive view
of identity influenced by cliché and pop culture.
For these artists, making art in a time of
crisis has resulted in deeply personal work that invites viewers to reconsider
how identity is linked to a current moment. When an urgent feeling is tied to a
concrete act, we may find an antidote to losing our sense of “now.”
Lindner is Director and Curator of the Jacki Headley University Art Gallery at
California State University, Chico.
FREE TO THE PUBLIC David Greenberger and Prime Lens It Happened To Me Live Performance
Saturday, April 27 @ 6PM doors will open @ 5:30PM
Bill Medley Auditorium Santa Ana High School 520 W Walnut St, Santa Ana, CA 92701 Note: The event and audience are being filmed for Beth Harrington’s upcoming documentary on Greenberger’s life work titled “Beyond the Duplex Planet.” – https://www.beyondduplexplanet.com/
Artist David Greenberger is best known for creating the long-running periodical, The Duplex Planet, which started in 1979 and continued to 2010. Through his conversations with the residents of a Boston nursing home, the series developed into Duplex Planet Illustrated, a comic book adaptation of the material drawn by a variety of alternative artists and illustrators, including Peter Bagge, Drew Friedman, Dan Clowes, Jim Woodring, Chris Ware, and James Kochalka, published by Fantagraphics. The project developed further through differing approaches, including The Duplex Planet Radio Hour with New York Public Radio, a series of CDs, and books of the collective conversations.
David Greenberger was a natural fit as a GCAC artist-in-residence, invited by GCAC to create a new work drawn from Santa Ana’s richly diverse elderly population. Greenberger spent his time in residence visiting senior community centers, a museum, and senior living apartments. Through the support of GCAC, he developed text based on his dozens of recorded conversations that took place at the Santa Ana Senior Center, Tustin Senior Center, Heninger Village, Flower Terrace Apartments, and Bowers Museum. Individuals who participated in conversations include Andra Aguirre, Chinda Ayanaputra, Ron Bianco, Charles, Rose Hendley, Winnie Hsie, Susan Johnson, Chong Kim, Paul Kohn, Dorothy Korte, Tish Leon, Jose Magana, Mary Mitchell, Tomoko Mizusawa, Sam,John A. Spiak, Vera Toner, Chanida Trueblood, and Brenda White. Working with Prime Lens, the Chattanooga-based ensemble he assembled four years earlier, they went into the studio in the spring of 2018, collaborating to create It Happened to Me.
LIVE PERFORMANCE: David Greenberger and Prime Lens will present a live performance with selections from It Happened To Me on the evening of Saturday, April 27, 2019. Filmmaker Beth Harrington and her crew will be filming the live Santa Ana performance for her upcoming documentary film on David and his work to be titled Beyond the Duplex Planet.
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS: Prime Lens Keyboardist Tyson Rogers is the trio’s primary composer. He has led his jazz quartet, toured extensively with Tony Joe White and country legend Don Williams, records regularly in Nashville, and has his work featured on many soundtracks. Drummer Bob Stagner has worked with everyone from Derek Bailey to Bob Dorough, John Zorn to Rev. Howard Finster; as well he is a co-founder of The Shaking Ray Levis. Bassist Evan Lipson tours regularly with saxophonist Jack Wright and has worked with a diverse list including Pauline Oliveros, David Grubbs, Col. Bruce Hampton, Davey Williams, and Susan Alcorn.
Performance, Workshops, and Site-Specific Spinning
Saturday, April 6 from 6-9pm
Working with a group of professional sign spinners from AArrow Sign Spinners of Orange County and LA, artist Yumi Janairo Roth’s projectSpin (after Sol LeWitt) is at once a collaborative experiential project, public performance, and site-based installation that activates and recontextualizes Sol LeWitt’s foundational text, “Sentences on Conceptual Art.” During the Downtown Santa Ana Art Walk, sign spinners will perform on intersections throughout downtown Santa Ana, workshop with public at Grand Central Art Center, and converge on the 2nd Street Promenade where they will perform collectively.
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Yumi Janairo Roth is currently a Grand Central Art Center artist-in- residence working in research and development of a new project. The artist was born in Eugene, OR and raised in Chicago and suburban Washington DC. She currently lives and works in Boulder, Colorado where she is a professor or sculpture at the University of Colorado. Roth has created a diverse body of work that explores ideas of immigration, hybridity, and displacement through discrete objects and site-responsive installations, solo project as well as collaborations. In her projects, her objects function as both natives and interlopers to their environments, simultaneously recognizable and unfamiliar to their users. She received a BA in anthropology from Tufts University, a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts-Boston and an MFA from the State University of New York-New Paltz.
Roth has exhibited and participated in artist-in-residencies nationally and internationally, including New York (Bronx River Art Center, Sara Meltzer Gallery, Momenta Art, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Smack Mellon, Cuchifritos), San Francisco (Limn Gallery), Portland (Institute of Contemporary Art, Map Room) Houston (Lawndale Art Center, Diverse Works), Boston (New Art Center), Denver (Rule Gallery, Center for Visual Arts, Museum of Contemporary Art), Minneapolis (Soap Factory), Milwaukee (Institute of Visual Arts, Kohler Arts/Industry), Santa Fe (Museum of Fine Arts), Seattle (Consolidated Works), Mexico (Arcaute Arte Contemporaneo, La Galleria Rufino Tamayo), the Philippines (Ayala and Vargas Museums), Colombia (Universidad Nacional de Colombia) Czech Republic (Galerie Klatovy-Klenova, Institute of Art and Design-Pilsen), and Germany (Frankfurter Kunstverein).