The Tallest Part of the Arch
February 15 - March 30th, 2019
Curated by Marcela Pardo Ariza, Southern Exposure Curatorial Council Member
Opening Reception: Friday, February 15, 2019, 7:00 – 9:00 PM
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 – 6:00 PM
Artists: Susana Eslava Sáenz, Jamil Hellu, Humanizando la Deportación, Javier Ocampo, Maria Paz, Purin Phanichphant, Cristina Victor
With texts by: Ángel Rafael Concepción, Juliana Delgado Lopera, Jackie Valle, Jovanna Venegas
The keystone is the final stone placed during the construction of an arch. This indispensable piece—both the tallest and the farthest from the base—holds all of the stones together, locking the arch into a structurally sound configuration. Similarly, our social keystones are those who dwell in the in-between spaces, who bear weight and hold together our social structure. The social keystone facilitates an unlikely translation; it provokes a new sound; it proposes a distinct imaginary. It gives me hope. The tallest part of the arch is resilient, witty, poetically political.
Through writing, photography, video, ceramics, and music, The Tallest Part of the Arch is an ode to the uppermost point of the social arch. The arch is molded by the subjects that are not pure but lavishly mixed, plurally hybrid, luxuriously aligned with one another—those who have migrated, hold multiple identities, assimilate strategically and forcefully. Those who are undefinable, whose own existence is an extension of solidarity.
Whether putting on makeup while crossing the border, eroticizing historical monuments, humanizing the stories of those who have been forced out of a country, or in the magical inexactitude of translation, stories of migration told through objects, the dichotomy of fresh cut flowers for the dead, or apocalyptic fashion of survival, the artists and writers of this exhibition use their role as keystones to remind us of the essential interdependence of all the stones and call on us to build more thoughtful, empathetic, and collaborative arches together.