This is an online archive of works created as part of 'Rutas'. These are paintings of undocumented journeys to the United States made by the people that took them.
About the project:
Rutas' is a cross-national practice based research project, inspired by the artist’s own lived experience of being displaced. The project engages with a range of organisations that serve displaced communities.
Using painting as a conduit for dialogue, the artist facilitates a space for individuals who have undertaken undocumented journeys to share their experiences. Each collaborator in the project contributes a painting, narrating their unique migration story. These paintings collectively form an archive of displacement, an unrecorded chapter in the history of the United States.
Through the act of painting, the artist and collaborators consciously challenge and redefine the connection between maps, often created during periods of colonial dominance, driven by agendas of power and control. The work celebrates diverse forms of knowledge and mapping, disrupting systems of subordination imposed by borders.
The work is often exhibited on haphazard and precarious structures made using found materials by the artist. Fragile, jagged and unbalanced these forms materialise the complex and dysfunctional bureaucracy of immigration policy.
Reflecting on personal experiences, the artist states, "My mother and I, alongside our community, undertook journeys to the U.S. through illegal overland routes. These journeys often carry a burden of shame and trauma, lacking official records or archives. They are not only integral to our identities as displaced individuals but also contribute to the narrative of the USA."
Rutas, New York, made at Mixteca December 2023
Rutas, Mexico City, made at Albergue Tochan in September 2023