March 29, 2010

I Didn't Cross the Border exhibit

I Didn’t Cross the Border, the Border Crossed Me

Exhibit Explores Arbitrary Boundaries Drawn in Native Communities

By Bradley Pecore
When the United States was founded hundreds of years ago, Indigenous communities were presented with new and arbitrarily drawn borders within their ancestral homelands. A group exhibit, I Didn’t Cross the Border, the Border Crossed Me, at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts’ Museum Store and Lloyd Kiva New Gallery will investigate the impact these borders have had on Native people. The exhibit opens Saturday, April 17 from 12 noon–2:00 p.m. at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in downtown Santa Fe (108 Cathedral Place) and will continue until May 23. As with all Museum Store exhibits, art work is for sale, and proceeds go to the artists and the Museum.

The physical and cognitive constructions of the United States/Canada and United States/Mexico border have created multidimensional divisions in society associated with nationality, physical borders, family, identity, sovereignty, regional attitudes, human rights, documentation and more. Gallery Associate, Institute of American Indian Arts’ alumnus and show organizer Bradley Pecore says the show will investigate these “…varied perspectives regarding traditional lands and current national boundaries in the modern day Indigenous reality.”
The exhibit title may come from Somos mas Americanos, a song by the Grammy-winning group Los Tigres del Norte:

'I didn't cross the border, the border crossed me' A thousand times they have shouted at me,
"Go home, you don't belong here"
Let me remind the Gringo
That I didn't cross the border, the border crossed me
America was born free--Man divided her
They drew the line so I would have to jump it
And they call me Invader
That's a big error
They took eight states from us--who is the invader here?
I am a stranger in my own land
I don't come to make war--I'm a working man
Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Border Project.

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