Jackie Amézquita

Gemidos de la Tierra (Wailing of the Land/Soil)

Saturday, March 25 - Sunday, March 26, 2023

Images by Gina Clyne.

Join LACE and LAND for the closing celebration of Jackie Amézquita’s Gemidos de la Tierra (Wailing of the Land/Soil). featuring a special performance by Dorian Wood and Michael Corwin and free tamales provided by Across Our Kitchen Tables for the first 100 guests (vegetarian options available). Eduardo’s Tamales will be on site providing additional tamales for sale (vegetarian options will be available). This gathering will take place as the culminating celebration after a weekend caravan across Los Angeles led by Amézquita, drawing attention to detention centers and pro-immigrant mutual aid organizations. Attendees will have the opportunity to take a closer look at Amézquita’s memorial panels!

Co-presented by LAND and LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions)

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 2003-2023 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 (Wailings of the Land/Soil) is supported by Angeles Art Fund, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Mohn LAND Grant, AltaMed, and National Performance Network (NPN).

The Mohn LAND Grant is funded through the generosity of Jarl and Pamela Mohn. Over a five year cycle (2022-2027),  this initiative directly invests in emerging Los Angeles based artists, providing them with a platform to present site-responsive, transdisciplinary work across LA County. Support through this program is awarded annually to a cohort of emerging artists, giving them their first opportunity to present a large-scale commissioned public project.

About the Artist

Jackie Amézquita (b. 1985) is a Central American artist based in Los Angeles, California. Amézquita was born in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, and migrated to the United States in 2003. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from ArtCenter College of Design and an Associate degree in Visual Communications from Los Angeles Valley College. She recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in the New Genres program at the University of California, Los Angeles (2022).

About our Performers

Dorian Wood is a multidisciplinary artist based in Los Angeles. Her intent of “infecting” spaces and ideologies with her artistic practice is born from a desire to challenge traditions and systems that have contributed to the marginalization of people. Wood has performed at institutions that include The Broad, Los Angeles, CA (2018), Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, NY (2023), Museo Nacional Del Prado, Madrid, Spain (2019), the City Hall of Madrid, Spain (2015) and Teatro de la Ciudad Esperanza Iris, Mexico City, Mexico (2019), and at festivals that include Festivals Kometa, Riga, Latvia (2016), Moers Festival, Germany (2017), Cully Jazz Festival, Switzerland (2015) and Saint Ghetto Festival, Bern, Switzerland (2017). From 2019 to 2020, Wood completed several successful international tours with her chamber orchestra tribute to Chavela Vargas, XAVELA LUX AETERNA. In 2022, Wood debuted her tribute to the singer Lhasa De Sela, entitled LHASA, at the Festival Internacional de Arte Sacro in Madrid, in collaboration with singer Carmina Escobar and composer Adrián Cortés. As a visual artist, Wood has created illustrations and video installations that have been exhibited in galleries around the world. They have also directed several short films, among them “The angel” (2023), Low’s “Disappearing” video (2021), “American Savagery” (2021), “FAF” (2021), “The World’s Gone Beautiful” (2020), “PAISA” (2019, co-directed with Graham Kolbeins), “O” (2014) and “La Cara Infinita” (2013). Wood is a recipient of the Creative Capital Award (2020) and the Art Matters Foundation grant (2020), and is also a MacDowell fellow (2022) and a Loghaven fellow (2022). Wood has released over a dozen recordings, most recently the album Invasiva (Dragon’s Eye Recordings, 2022). In 2023, Wood debuted Canto de Todes, a 12-hour composition and installation, at REDCAT in Los Angeles. www.dorianwood.com

Michael Corwin is a musician based in Los Angeles, and a graduate of CalArts. He has worked with artists like Correatown, Liz Pappademas and the experimental ensemble Killsonic, and has been a frequent collaborator with Dorian Wood for over 15 years. As a solo artist, he released the album Andalucía (2009) under the name Red Maids. Corwin is also an accomplished furniture maker.

About our Collaborators

Across Our Kitchen Tables curates, organizes, and hosts events and conversations that center BIPOC chefs and food systems workers. We consider the present and future of food through thoughtful dialogue on topics including cultural foodways, entrepreneurship, food activism, and health and wellness. https://www.acrossourkitchentables.org @acrossourkitchentables

Eduardo’s Tamales will be selling tamales from his newly donated Un Dia de Arcoíris, a tamalero cart designed by LA-based artist Ruben Ochoa for street vendors in partnership with Revolutionary Carts and Inclusive Action for the City. Ochoa has partnered with Revolutionary Carts and Inclusive Action for the City to raise funds and donated custom wrapped street vendor carts with Ochoa’s graphics functioning as social sculptures. https://www.inclusiveaction.org/ruben-ochoa-art @lalin.zuniga.10, @revolution_carts, @inclusiveaction, @rrrubenochoa

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.

Los Angeles Nomadic Division is a member of and supported by the Los Angeles Visual Arts (LAVA) Coalition

LAND is a member-supported organization. Support LAND’s free, public programming by becoming a member today.