Jackie Amézquita

Gemidos De La Tierra (Wailing of the Land/Soil)


Saturday, March 25 - Sunday, March 26, 2023

Gemidos de la Tierra (Wailing of the Land/Soil) by Jackie Amézquita addresses the cruel and fatal reality of detainment camps that immigrants encounter upon their arrival to the U.S.

Amézquita has created a mobile public installation of twelve panels (8’ x 4’) with names of immigrants that died in ICE detention centers. The names of the deceased are created with soil from the state where the individual died, and combined with cornflour (masa), salt and rain water to symbolize that despite their death these individuals still inhabit a physical space.

Gemidos de la Tierra (Wailing of the Land/Soil) becomes a place of healing, memorializing, and encouraging activism. The names of children who were victims of the detention centers are created with the documents that published their deaths, and mixed with chia seeds that ultimately will sprout from the letters themselves. Due to each name being created with its own unique mixture of soil and other natural ingredients, each name possesses its own unique texture and color palette, honoring each individual rather than reducing their lives to a statistic as the U.S. Government does.

In March 2023 this mobile public installation will be activated in Los Angeles and surroundings. The panels will be transported on A frames trucks, to be exhibited while en route to each destination, accompanied by a caravan of cars. This project makes visible two public lists of deaths from ICE Detention Centers in 2003-2021 that will be presented in front of detention centers and pro-immigrant mutual aid organizations.

Amézquita’s project is integral to making the migration crisis visible. Through her use of transporting public documents that were found on ICE’s website (now removed), it is imperative to continue the dialogue about immigrants and the ways in which state-sanctioned violence and death are legalized and actively inflicted against migrants seeking refuge and a better quality of life.

Gemidos de la Tierra (Wailing of the Land/Soil) is co-presented by LAND and LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions).

Jackie Amézquita, Gemidos de la Tierra, (2020-22). Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber.

About LACE

LACE both champions and challenges the art of our time by fostering artists who innovate, explore, and risk. We move within and beyond our four walls to provide opportunities for diverse publics to engage deeply with contemporary art.  In doing so, we further dialogue and participation between and among artists and those audiences.

LAND’s 2023 exhibitions are made possible with lead support from the Offield Family Foundation, the Jerry and Terri Kohl Family Foundation, and The Perenchio Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Department of Arts and Culture, the LA Arts Recovery Fund, Brenda Potter, the Wilhelm Family Foundation and LAND’s Nomadic Council. Special thanks to Artist Sponsors Karen Hillenburg, Liana Krupp, Abby Pucker, Ben Weyerhaeuser, and the Poncher Family Foundation.

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