Monday, June 22, 2009

Sanctuary City/Ciudad Santuario 1989-2009.

One of Chris' most exciting and comprehensive shows to date just wrapped up. The project, Sanctuary City/Ciudad Santuario, 1989-2009, was the fruition of a two-year process of investigation and research prompted by the post-9/11 increase in federal immigration raids. The team of artists led by Sergio De La Torre - including Karla Claudio Betancourt, Dina Roumiantseva, Wenhua Shi, Rosario Alicia Sotelo, and Chris Treggiari - assembled a bloc of video projections and photographs, together with a text-based installation and limited-edition timeline, that explored and questioned the ways in which this pattern of increased federal intervention has affected the Bay Area immigrant community. Here is a great article that discusses more about the goals of the project.

Exterior photo of Queens Nails Projects. Photo courtesy of Mission Loc@l.

Video installation by Rosario Sotelo; Mapping/Table installation by Wenhui Shi; Vinyl installation by entire group. Photo courtesy of Mission Loc@l.

I was less involved with this project than most of the others. Although I did lend much support and tried to keep my whining to a minimum as Chris was gone most nights and weekends for about a month while he was finishing this, his piece for his SFAI graduate show and his Rank and File float. I will take a small amount of credit for helping with the layout of the vinyl on the walls. Damn, I think that's about it. Did I mention I was helping with that until 3am on a school night? That has to count for something.

Chris spent months and months compiling information for this project. And while he didn't have an actual "piece" in this show, he did build the SF Sanctuary City Resource Center, a mobile resource center full of different information relevant to immigrants. This mobile center will be brought to Sanctuary City/Ciudad Santuario's offsite performances and video projections.

SF Sanctuary Resource Center installed at SFAI's Vernissage Graduate Show.

I wish I had a witty response to this entire project, but alas I don't. It was pretty amazing and there has been a lot of interest in future shows. This topic is obviously one that is not going anywhere. This project has provided one of the first forms of objective, comprehensive documentation of San Francisco's twenty-year history as a sanctuary city.

On that note, I've pretty much shot myself in the foot for future expectations of blog productivity. Today is truly an anomaly. I needed to ensure that the hordes of people coming to read this brilliant piece of web "journalism" will have something to read.

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