"…the Traitor and his wire hands and plantation laws and slave labor
it is the earth flowing with the dew of brave women and men
on march with rivers and coffee plantations with salt and furry
it is the earth that determines the new furrows
the knives of plants of shining flesh the skin rising
the viper of rhymes and guerilla war breathing fire
extinguishing the plague the silk web the false tower…”
— Juan Felipe Herrera, excerpt from Earth Chorus
Selena Gallery presents The Silk Web the False Tower, which features the work of two New York based artists, Carlos Jaramillo and Tamara Santibañez. This exhibition will present two new bodies of work conceived while both artists spent time around the vicinity of prisons and visiting the interiors of jails.
Carlos Jaramillo’s practice explores how the carceral complex cuts through geography and society, illuminating the blurred lines of servitude, freedom, capital, and power. For this exhibition, Jaramillo will exhibit new photographs taken from a recent trip to Lima, Peru, where he spent time with the terrain and the people who live and work near and in several prisons. Jaramillo’s immersive approach creates photographs where language barriers cease and language is seen through motion, hand gestures, and the gaze or stillness of the subject.
Tamara Santibañez will exhibit works made in response to her trips to Rikers Island this past year. At Rikers, the artist hosted a tattoo drawing workshop, teaching basic drawing and design techniques, while leading the young men in critical discussions focusing on the symbolism of tattoo imagery. Utilizing personal items such as backpacks, flip flops, socks, and over 200 hand drawn butterflies and flowers, Santibañez explores the selfhood of people masked by the prison system. This project acknowledges the contradictions of the institutional architecture of this adult facility in relation to the ages, experiences, and sensitivities of the young individuals. The works on display reveal the relationship human beings have to their origins and past, and serve as mnemonic inscriptions of hope and rebirth.