By Alexander Squier
The word “immigration” generally elicits a strong response, negative or positive, depending on who you ask. “Migration”, on the other hand, suggests something more natural, a pattern perpetually redefined like an undeniable truth. By extending this more neutral understanding of migration to immigration, artist Alexander Squier hopes to complicate the discussion of immigration beyond one of good vs. bad by recontextualizing the movement of people, objects, and even earth itself across time and space, and by blending narratives of immigration and migration with archaeological and sociological theatre.
Squier has interviewed immigrant members of his own family, in addition to foreign laborers, who are asked to describe their past homes, and to respond to bricks recovered from demolition sites around Houston. Many of the bricks are of Mexican origin, composed of Mexican earth, and were used in the construction of American homes. They are presented as archaeological artifacts, and like the migrants who labor here, are inescapably embedded within the larger physical fabric of our city.
Alexander Squier presents in this installation a dialogue between the histories embodied by constructions, artifacts and their interaction, while looking for trends in how this interaction reflect culture and address migration. The opening reception will take place on August 26th, at 6:30 PM at the Institute of Hispanic Culture of Houston, located at 3315 Sul Ross St., Houston TX 77098. The exhibition will run until September 30th, 2017.