Press Release

Bronx Museum Announces The Neighbors, part two, in two parts: Sanctuary: Andrea Bowers and Home: Andrea Aragón

Event Date: 
12 October 2016
New York, NY

Second Set of Exhibitions in a Three-Part Series Focused on Culture and Community, Sanctuary and Home Explores Immigration, Activism, and Assimilation 

Opening October 12, The Bronx Museum of the Arts will present The Neighbors, part two, in two parts: Sanctuary: Andrea Bowers and Home: Andrea Aragón, a two-artist exhibition exploring themes of geographic and cultural border-crossing. Conceived in two halves, Sanctuary includes a body of work by Andrea Bowers drawing from the experience of an undocumented woman seeking political asylum, while Home presents a series of photographs by Andrea Aragón documenting the effects of emigration from her native Guatemala. As the second installment of a three-part exhibition series curated by Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy to explore the aesthetic responses of culturally diverse artists to the immigrant experience, The Neighbors presents two distinct perspectives on cultural uprooting and belonging, as well as social mobility and political resistance.

The Sanctuary section of the exhibition includes installations and drawings by Los Angeles-based artist Andrea Bowers inspired by her interviews with once-undocumented immigrant Elvira Arellano, who took political asylum—or sanctuary—in a church in Chicago, and was eventually separated from her American-born son when deported to Mexico in 2007. Sanctuary also includes a succession of drawings from her 2010 installation No Olvidado (Not Forgotten),which memorializes the names of individuals who have died while attempting to enter the U.S. from Mexico. Continuing her mission of artistic activism, Bowers created a new drawing sourced from a Los Angeles rally themed “Keep Families Together.”

The Home section of the exhibition features a series of photographs by Guatemalan photographer Andrea Aragón that pictorially connect local Guatemalans with their family members in the U.S. Produced between 2000 to 2016, these individual and group portraits capture her subjects’ immediate environments in the village streets or in personal homes. The use of symbolism, specifically the American flag; markers of class mobility; and signs of communication between those who leave and those who stay all speak to the larger theme of immigration and its effect on cultural and personal identity.

The Neighbors weaves together accounts of loss and domestic disruptions that occur during or post- relocation, expanding on the first installment of the three-part Neighbors series, Caza, by continuing to trace the cultural roots and backgrounds of original communities and immigrant families. The Neighbors exhibition series features work by artists Andrea Aragón, Firelei Baez, Andrea Bowers, Rochele Gomez, Ignacio Gonzalez-Lang, Margaret Lee, Ivan Morazan, and Alejandra Seeber. For each exhibition, the graphic designer Gerardo Madera is producing a gallery leaflet out of his Common Satisfactory Standard print shop. 

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Joshua White

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