February 2 – 28, 2018
GALLERY WENDI NORRIS OFFSITE EXHIBITION
Exhibition Opening: Friday, February 2, 7 - 9 PM
Exhibition Hours: Monday - Friday, 10 - 6 PM
San Francisco, November 20, 2018 — From the first barb wire fence placed in the Southwest region to deter the Chinese after the Chinese exclusion Act in the 1880’s, to Trump’s proposed 70 billion-dollar wall, the physical border between Mexico and the United States has been highly debated. For his inaugural gallery exhibition in Mexico, Morales examines the history of the border wall in a new series of experimental landscapes in video, photographs, and watercolors.
Morales has been researching and chronicling activities along the border for more than two decades and has amassed an archive of over 800 news stories that detail absurd, atrocious and inventive stories of activities along the border. These headlines are brought to the surface through text-based watercolors, or his ongoing “Narco Headlines” series.
A new, 19-piece series entitled “Day Dreaming” mixes black and white photographs of the US/Mexico Border wall with geometric abstractions in which the color fields derive from sampled items of abandoned trash, shoes, clothing and drinking vessels from both sides of the border. The photographs are printed to the same size as the holes that are left at certain areas along the fence for surveillance. The art works attempt to find beauty in the everyday struggles and reality of migration, self-determination and social equality.
A larger-scaled, four-panel piece, Cuatro Caminos, was shot along The Devil’s Highway, a prehistoric and colonial trail through the Sonora Desert in Arizona, known as the deadliest region of the continent—a desert so harsh and desolate that even Border Patrol is afraid to travel through it. Native Americans from that region say it has been cursed for hundreds of years and stories about men, women and children being swallowed by the ghosts/devils under the sand is still talked about today. The area is dangerous and no border wall exists –an invitation for migrants to attempt crossing in a place where their odds of survival are slim.
We Are The Dead and We Are the Dead: Part Two, a two channel video installation with original soundtracks by the artist, are based on a true story from the 1990’s in which two brothers crossed the Sonora Desert from Mexico into Arizona. Lost and out of water, they are left only with two bottles of tequila meant as a gift for relatives waiting in the US. The brothers later decided to split up and find help, and one made it to a Circle K convenience store, while the other was later found dead in the desert with an empty bottle of tequila. A story originally told of the dead brother in 2013 in We Are the Dead is now continued through the eyes of the living brother in We are the Dead, Part Two, where the living brother states.
Since my brother is gone, I no longer speak Spanish. That world left us, dehydrated. We saw planes taking flight, running away. This world is not for you they were telling us in their lift off. Do you still believe the world is for you?
Gallery Wendi Norris presents its fourth exhibition for Morales at Galería Curro’s project space at Torre Cube, the 230-foot tower building, designed by architect Carme Pinós, in the heart of Puerta de Hierro, Guadalajara, Mexico. The building is situated in an area of high seismic intensity, defining the concrete materiality of the building, with sculpturally stunning design, made of airy terraces opening to a large, exposed silo-style center, taking advantage of the local climate.
The exhibition is accompanied by limited edition artist poster, with an essay by Diana Nawi, an independent curator and writer based in Los Angeles, who previously served as associate curator at the Perez Art Museum Miami.