Mujeres Nourishing Fronterizx Bodies highlights Latinx women collaborating in the borderlands, an ode to shared power and place.
Mujeres Nourishing Fronterizx Bodies: Resistance in the Time of COVID-19
October 8, 2021–May 1, 2022
Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson, Tucson
A fresco created on a gallery wall with breastmilk and Mexican earth centers women living and working collaboratively in the borderlands, where Arizona-based Latinx artists Gabriela Muñoz and M. Jenea Sanchez have spent over five years exploring identity, labor, and collectivity.
The fresco is one of thirty-two works in this exhibition, which reveals the ways this pair’s impulse to document the practices of a women’s collective located in Sonora, Mexico, evolved into a multi-year conversation and collaboration that significantly transformed their own creative practices.
The exhibition includes works by Muñoz and Sanchez, as well as artist Ammi Robles and several women in the colectiva DouglaPrieta Trabajan. Organized by curator-at-large Laura Copelin along with Muñoz and Sanchez, and with support from assistant curator Alexis Wilkinson, it features printmaking, photography, video, and sculpture punctuating the ways these women elevate their own agency while privileging shared knowledge and community spaces.
Self-portraits move viewers beyond mere abstractions of these women’s lives and desert habitats. In one, we see the words “brownmilking a future” printed with a viscous material across Muñoz’s chest. In another, cactus spines protrude from Sanchez’s bare shoulder.
Portraits of collective members created by Muñoz and Sanchez include acrylic images on wood tables and serigraphs on walls built with adobe bricks. Videos made by Robles and several collective members elucidate their everyday activities, such as gardening, making meals, volunteering, and painting murals. Common threads in this poignant ode to shared power and place include connections across generations, relationships with the land, and nurturing brown bodies amid the impacts of both COVID-19 and the ongoing humanitarian crisis along the border.
Together, these artists challenge viewers to examine and transform existing power structures in their own lives and communities, while also undertaking collaborative actions to shift the ways power is exercised in the borderlands and beyond.