Categories: Cathy Breslaw, THE BUZZ

THE BUZZ: UnDocumenta


Curated by Alessandra Moctezuma

On view through January 28, 2018

Article by Cathy Breslaw

The Getty Museum has spearheaded and provided several grants for a large set of exhibitions and collaborations known as Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. This ambitious project provides an awareness and dialogue across southern California about Latin American and Latino Art. From September 2017 through January 2018, Oceanside Museum is one of more than 70 cultural institutions in the region to participate. Organized and curated by Alessandra Moctezuma, UnDocumenta includes the work of six artists who wrestle with issues of immigration and the border, biculturalism, migration, labor issues and human rights. Expressing themselves through video, photography, sculpture, social engagement, performance and interactivity, the work of these contemporary Mexican, Latino and American artists from both Tijuana and San Diego provides fertile ground for important conversations that beg to be had in a geographic area where shifting cultural identities and nationalities are at the forefront of challenging social and political debate.

Omar Pimienta’s Welcome to Colonia Libertad is a participatory art piece that replicates the bureaucratic practice of acquiring passports. Pimienta sets up ‘mobile consulates’ where he exchanges a visitor’s expired passport and trades it for an artistic faux passport together with their new photograph and fingerprints, giving them access to his Tijuana neighborhood of Colonia Libertad.  Teresita de la Torre’s 365 Days in an Immigrant’s Shirt pays homages to undocumented migrants by wearing a plaid shirt every day for a year – a shirt she discovered while volunteering for an organization that leaves jugs of drinking water in the desert for migrants trying to cross the border. Her process is documented in photographs and a sketchbook from her daily postings.

Claudia Cano uses public performance by dressing up as a house-keeper/cleaning lady named Rosa Hernandez. Clad in a pink maid’s uniform, apron, and wig, Cano sweeps public spaces including a park, museum and adjacent to the border wall, demonstrating through photographs her invisibility to oblivious onlookers, and highlighting the importance of immigrant workers to our economy. Ana Teresa Fernandez’s video projection Borrando la Frontera shows the artist in a cocktail dress and high heels, climbing ladders as she attempts to paint the border fence in Playa de Tijuana a light powder blue creating an illusion of a disappearing border fence.

Dominic Paul Miller created a trans-border community partnership with Tijuana’s labor rights group Ollin Calli. Using grant funds, Miller paid workers from Mexican maquiladoras to collaborate with him on his art project – a social engagement between factory labor and production, the result creating a series of individual drawings. There is also a wall in the gallery where Miller documents the specific backgrounds of his Mexican participants, revealing the personal identity of his collaborators. Marcos Ramirez Erre installed a site-specific piece by erecting a metal façade on the outside of the museum mimicking the border fence. This worthy and engaging exhibition tackles contentious topics in visually and intellectually stimulating ways. Several associated events are planned and can be accessed online at


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