14 Nov 2018

Peeling off the Grey

National Museum of Mexican Art

Reviewed by Nina Versenyi

Grey: the paint color of choice of the gentrifier.

"Peeling off the Grey" at the National Museum of Mexican Art uncovers the pain accompanying the rapid gentrification of Pilsen, a predominantly Mexican neighborhood in Chicago. Art and activism are indivisible in this bilingual exhibition with pieces from Barrio Resistance, a poem by Luis Tubens, and William Estrada's Not For Sale - Posters (2018).

Upon entering, confrontation is immediate. Sarita Garcia and Joseph Josué Mora's interactive piece, Dispenser 1, 2, 3, 4: Pilsen (2018), invites the visitor to self-identify as an insider or outsider by selecting a button out of one of four plywood dispensers. As of October 5, the only buttons remaining were those labeled "displaced from here." The absent identifiers are "raised here," "new here," and "not from here."

The three empty dispensers and identity of the remaining buttons are a stark reminder of the absence of those displaced.

Exhibition Peeling off the Grey link
Start date 11 May 2018
End date 03 Mar 2018
Presenter National Museum of Mexican Art link
Venue 1852 W. 19th Street, Chicago, IL, USA map
Image Sarita Garcia and Joseph Josué Mora, Dispenser 1, 2, 3, 4: Pilsen, 2018, plywood, cast acrylic, and buttons, courtesy of the artists

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