Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways

Exhibition Partners with over 40 Community and Institutional Entities Statewide on Themes of Migration, Immigration, and Border Crossing

October 5—December 14, 2018
Opening: Friday, October 5, 2018
Hosted at MECA’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)

Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways brings together a dynamic group of contemporary artists whose work engages the theme of migration. Organized by the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art, this exhibition will be accompanied by a wide range of events about migration, immigration, and border crossing hosted by collaborating partner organizations throughout the state. Events include companion exhibitions, lectures, films, performances, poetry readings, and community conversations.. MECA will host a one-day public symposium for artist and collaborating partners on Friday, November 2, 2018. A detailed schedule and more information on each of the affiliated events will be available in September at www.meca.edu/traces.

“Artists have always played a central and critical role in helping us to understand the emotions – pride, longing, melancholy, displacement, fear – that are so much a part of the immigration experience,” said MECA President Laura Freid. “In these times of war and distress, when so many are faced with displacement, exile, and the significant existential pressures of immigration, it is critical for all of us to try to understand and reach out to each other. I am hopeful that this ICA exhibition will help us to start healthy, open, and engaged dialogues in our community.”

The exhibition is organized by Director of Exhibitions and Special Projects, Erin Hutton and co-curated by Julie Poitras Santos and Catherine Besteman. Poitras Santos is an artist, writer and Assistant Professor in the MFA program at MECA. The relationship between site, story and mobility fuels a wide range of Poitras Santos’ research and production, often as a means to create community. Besteman is Professor of Anthropology at Colby College who has conducted extensive fieldwork in South Africa, Somalia, and the United States. Besteman recently published a book that examines the experiences of Maine’s largest refugee population.

In light of vigorous local and national dialogues about immigration, Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways seeks to make connections among local communities and to illuminate the experiences and materialities of displacement, exile, and mobility. Through its focus on pathways linking memory, movement, the loss of home, and the invention of a new one, the exhibition opens an inclusive critique of stereotypes about migrants and migration. The works enable viewers and participants to interrogate how structural inequalities and inequities influence our daily interactions and experiences of mobility.

Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways will be on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art from October 5 through December 14, 2018. The opening will take place on Friday, October 5, 2018, and a one-day symposium will be held on Friday, November 2, 2018. A number of additional programs including film screenings, community dialogues, artist talks, and exhibitions will take place at different venues throughout Maine while the exhibition is on view.

Participating artists include: Ahmed Alsoudani ’05, Caroline Bergvall, Edwige Charlot ’10, Jason De León+Michael Wells+Lucy Cahill, Eric Gottesman, Mohamad Hafez, Romuald Hazoumè, Ranu Mukherjee, Daniel Quintanilla+United YES+Yarn Corporation, María Patricia Tinajero and Yu-Wen Wu.

This exhibit is made possible in part thanks to the support of private donors, Colby College, the Lunder Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information, to request high-resolution images, or to schedule an interview with exhibition co-curators Julie Poitras Santos or Catherine Besteman, please contact Erin Hutton (ehutton@meca.edu / 207.699.5025).

Maria Patricia Tinajero, Find Your Match, 2014, found materials, cast off objects, and recycled materials, dimensions variable

Ranu Mukherjee, begin, 2017, wool, 48” x 72”; commissioned by the FOR-SITE Foundation; photo: Robert Divers Herrick

Eric Gottesman, Jordan Is Not A Country/Desert Fence, 2006, 30” x40,” pigment print

Mohamad Hafez, Desperate Cargo, 2016, plaster, paint, float, found objects, MP3 media player, rusted metal, lighting, 144” x 48” x 40”

Mohamad Hafez, Desperate Cargo, 2016, plaster, paint, float, found objects, MP3 media player, rusted metal, lighting, 144” x 48” x 40”

Caroline Bergvall, Drift, Callicoon Fine Art install, NY, 2015. Audiowork in hanging headphones Hafville, mural Constellation of the Zodiac, hanging print Fog

Michael Wells, Migrant artifacts. Sonora Desert, Arizona, photograph, 2010-2013

Michael Wells, Migrant artifacts. Sonora Desert, Arizona, photograph, 2010-2013

Caroline Bergvall, Drift, screenshot of Seafarer electronic work. credit: Thomas Köppel, 2017