Torre Cube, Guadalajara, Mexico
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.
Gallery Wendi Norris presents this 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.