TORTILLAS, CHILES, AND OTHER BORDER THINGS
Commissioned work by Consuelo Jimenez-Underwood
March 7—April 29, 2006
Tortillas, Chiles, And Other Border Things by installation and textile artist Consuelo Jimenez-Underwood celebrated the survival of the artist’s indigenous culture as it is most commonly defined by food. The installation featured large-scale, mixed-media, woven sculptural objects—cloth/paper/corn husk tortillas (4’ diameter) in a barbed-wire basket (6’ diameter and 4’ high), chiles (3’–5’ long) and a molcajete (grinding stone) (6’ diameter and 7’ high)—displayed against a backdrop of oilcloth paintings/weavings that suggest the tablecloths often found in Mexican and Mexican-American homes. Juxtaposed with these outsized homages to life’s blessings, the “other border things” were represented by a 15-foot woven Tortilla Wall, the artist’s allusion to the barrier currently being constructed along the United States-Mexico border and other obstacles confronting immigrants.