Soil

In April of 2018, Jackie Amézquita walked from the border of Tijuana, Mexico, to Los Angeles, California, from sunrise to sunset for eight consecutive days, bringing visibility to immigrant struggles. During this endurance performance, Huellas Que Germinan, the artist, began to consider the soil on which she walked both during this journey as well as the initial journey that she embarked on as an undocumented immigrant traveling to the United States for the first time in October 2003. During this initial journey, the artist was forced to abandon a bottle of water in the Sonora desert while fleeing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. Recalling this lost item, for this performance, Amézquita collected earth in each bottle of water that she consumed during her 2000-mile walk, resulting in eighteen bottles of earth.

For Amézquita, soil can archive history, place, and time. Though the land cannot speak of what it has witnessed, it records the migration of peoples and centuries of trauma that has been enacted on it, for it. Following Huellas Que Germinan, Amézquita began to consider what the land had witnessed and, if the land could tell the story of her journey, how it would do so. It was then that she decided that for this series, she would transcribe personal writings that she had made during the performance, casting them in a mixture of the soil, masa, salt, limestone, and rainwater that is then baked, a recipe that she developed for these works and continues to utilize for others. Masa, or ground corn, has a historical and personal significance for the artist, related to Amézquita’s cultural background, being of both Guatemalan and Purépecha descent. Imbedding this text into walls, the walls begin to hold space and bear witness to the artist’s journey as well as the unfolding histories that it continues to tell for those that are unable to. Amézquita continues exploring the medium by creating other forms from the mixture of soil and masa (corn dough). Amézquita continues exploring the medium by creating other forms from the mixture of soil, masa (corn dough), and rain.

El suelo que nos alimenta, 2023

El suelo que nos alimenta, 2023

 El suelo que nos alimenta, 2023 Soil sourced from the 144 neighborhoods that make up the Los Angeles region, masa (corn dough), salt, rain, limestone, and copper.  The history of Los Angeles is one of diasporic communities and migration. More than one-third of the...

Sortilegio 3

Sortilegio 3

Soil of the 2,000 mile long border that connects Mexico and the US, cal hidratada (hydrated lime), corn masa, screws, wood, plywood, gypsum board

Sortilegio 2, 2022

Sortilegio 2, 2022

Sortilegio II, 2022, the imbedded abbreviated text, written during Huellas Que Germinan, reflects upon what life was like for the artist while being an undocumented immigrant in the United States of America and how this life transformed after gaining her residency...

Sortilegio 1

Sortilegio 1

Soil from the border that connects Tijuana -Baja California, Mexico and San Ysidro California, cal hidratada (hydrated lime), corn masa, screws, wood, plywood, gypsum board.

proclamación; gathering 4, October 4, 2021  

proclamación; gathering 4, October 4, 2021  

University of California Los Angeles Margo Leaving Graduate Art Studios. Twelve people out of a group of seventeen joined a social distance gathering. Latin American dishes were served on slabs. The slabs were made of corn masa, soil, and limestone. Dishes serve from...

proclamación; gathering 3, August 10, 2020

proclamación; gathering 3, August 10, 2020

Zoom food gathering, guests joined from their homes in Los Angeles, California. A total of twelve people were invited to the gathering, but only ten people were able to assist. The slabs were delivered inside cardboard boxes. Each guest cooked a meal for themselves...

proclamación; gathering 2, march 8, 2020

proclamación; gathering 2, march 8, 2020

Artist residency in Glendale, California. A total of seventeen people attended the second food gathering. The artist serves dishes from La Guatemalteca Restaurant in Los Angeles. Twelfth different Guatemalan dishes served on slabs. The slabs were made of corn masa,...

proclamación; gathering 1, january 21, 2020

proclamación; gathering 1, january 21, 2020

University of California Los Angeles Margo Leaving Graduate Art Studios. A total of seventeen people gather to eat using their hands. The artist and some of her friends who work in the food industry in Los Angeles, CA, cooked the dishes. Twelve different Guatemalan...