Once upon a time the border between Mexico and the United States was about land and sovereignty. It wasn’t too difficult to cross that line. But then it got complicated. Especially since 9/11, the border isn’t just about land, but about trade, undocumented immigrants, terrorism, guns, drugs, and military surveillance. In 2003, as artist Kim Martinez read news accounts of increased militarization at the border while more and more migrants were dying in the desert, she began to consider exploring these issues through art.
Fast forward 10 years and Martinez is now showing a body of work that resulted from her curiosity and concern about border issues; a body of work that includes both paintings and video animation installed at Finch Lane Gallery through November 15.
Martinez will quickly tell you that this exhibit is not about immigration rights. Rather, it is about the journey from Mexico to the United States. It is about the enforcers on both sides of the border; the coyotes, often affiliated with drug cartels, who smuggle humans and other commodities across; the killing of Mexicans by Mexicans with the help of American guns; the death of the old culture of easy, neighborly visits across that line. It is about risk and death. Martinez leaves it to the viewer to think about public policy and how each of us is complicit in its results.
On Friday, November 1, from 7-8 PM at Finch Lane Gallery (1340 East 100 South) Kim Martinez will discuss her exhibit 7 Steps Forward, 7 Steps Back. The exhibit continues through November 15th. A full-length article on the exhibit will appear in the November 2013 edition of 15 Bytes.
Sue Martin holds an M.A. in Theatre and has worked in public relations. As an artist, she works in watercolor, oil, and acrylic to capture Utah landscapes or the beauty of everyday objects in still life.