Magazine article Artforum International

Andrea Bowers: Kaufmann Repetto

Magazine article Artforum International

Andrea Bowers: Kaufmann Repetto

Article excerpt

Andrea Bowers

KAUFMANN REPETTO

For Andrea Bowers's debut exhibition at Kaufmann Repetto, the Los Angeles-based artist turned her grassroots-activist eye to the struggle for immigrants' rights in the United States. Rooting her investigation of this topic in an exposure of the underlying imbalance of power between colonized cultures and former colonizers--a disequilibrium that is still dramatically visible in the border regions between Mexico and the US--Bowers conceived a sprawling installation consisting of archival materials, graphite drawings, political posters, photographs, video, and sculpture. This project, titled "Self-determination," builds on research the artist began in 2010, when she became interested in the Brown Berets, a revolutionary organization formed during the Chicano civil-rights movement of the late 1960s. The group garnered only brief media attention, but it continues to fight for self-determination, for an end to the inequality suffered by Mexican immigrants, and for the right to reclaim areas of the American Southwest originally inhabited by indigenous Aztec people. While the production of this show was motivated by Bowers's stated desire "to end the unjust border policies in the United States," here the artist presented a group of works that home in on tensions between the individual and society and between collective histories and isolated events.

In the first of four rooms, Bowers mounted to three walls 291 sheets of twenty-two-by-seventeen-inch paper in grid formation, a minimal yet formidable intervention that totally transformed the space. This "wallpaper," reminiscent of the artist's 2011 work The New Woman's Survival Guide, was composed of a selection from the archives of Carlos Montes, one of the founders of the Brown Berets, including drawings, posters, and photographic prints of the pages of such journals as La Causa, La Raza, and Inside Eastside (the collective's thruways of communication) dating from 1967 to 1971. These were presented alongside contemporary ephemera and photographs from the artist's participation in marches and protests in the Los Angeles area over the past five years. The resulting juxtaposition was chromatically violent--the aggressive hues of protest flyers clashed with the worn black-and-white of old newspaper. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.