One to Another – San Antonio, USA

About the exhibition: Over the last few years, hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled their homes—places like Syria, Myanmar, and El Salvador—in search of respite from war, unbearable violence, famine, and climate catastrophe. These migrants are among tens of millions of people currently displaced, seeking asylum, or stateless. Add in that migrating for labour and economic opportunity, and the number increases to a quarter billion people worldwide. Philosopher Thomas Nail writes, “This increase in human mobility and expulsion affects us all. It should be recognised as a defining feature of our epoch: the 21st century will be the century of the migrant.” This wave of human movement brings social, economic, and political repercussions. Divisive debates over immigration policy and increased partisanship can be seen worldwide. What does the future hold if these migratory trend lines continue? How do we individually and collectively approach the real-world consequences of uprooted lives and shifting demographics? Where do we begin?

One to Another, led by Borderland Collective artists Mark Menjivar, Molly Sherman, and Jason Reed, activates Artpace’s Hudson Showroom and Main Space galleries, turning them into listening, critical inquiry, and participation spaces. The exhibition invites viewers to contemplate their own familial migration stories within the context of larger migration narratives. Stories gathered from around the country will serve as a starting point. Still, the exhibition also utilises forensic archives, video and sound installations, a refugee housing unit, and United Nations hearings to engender a critically conscious reading of how narratives are constructed within layered contexts of media, politics, and individual lives. Storytelling is generative, can open the door to empathy, and move us to action. As Spanish philosopher Fina Birulés says, “While storytelling does not solve any problem and does not master anything forever, it adds yet another element in the repertory of the world; it is a way for human beings to leave a lasting presence in the world, not as species, but as a plurality of who’s.” We each have a migration story—some are more recent than others.

Exhibition: Sep 6 – Dec 30, 2018. The xhibition features a shelter frame and photos by Better Shelter.

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