Making A Statement
In Colby College Museum of Art’s Teresa Margolles: We have a Common Thread exhibition, tragedies are turned into powerful artwork
Last winter, Mexican artist Teresa Margolles traveled to the Staten Island street where Eric Garner died while being placed under arrest and dragged a large cloth over the sidewalk. Tainted by the pavement’s debris, the fabric became the canvas on which embroiderers and artists from Harlem Needle Arts, with input from Margolles, created a work that comments on the tragedy, and voices their concerns about violence faced by African Americans in this country.
American Juju for the Tapestry of Truth is among the works included in Teresa Margolles: We Have a Common Thread, an exhibition on view from September 13 to December 11 at the Colby College Museum of Art. Organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York, and curated by Patrice Giasson, the Alex Gordon Associate Curator of the Art of the Americas, the show also includes collaborations between Margolles and native embroiderers from Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Brazil, and Mexico, who share her distress about violence, particularly against women. She provided each group with a fabric that had been marked through contact with the body of a victim and invited the embroiderers to create designs on the cloth as a way to trigger a conversation about the social problems plaguing their respective communities. Some of these conversations were recorded and accompany the exhibition.
“We are so grateful to Teresa Margolles and the Neuberger Museum of Art for putting this important exhibition together, and we are honored to be sharing it with the people of Maine,” says Colby curator Diana Tuite. “We look forward to the opportunities for learning, discussion, and healing that this exhibition may furnish.” On the following pages, MH+D presents a preview of the show.