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 city’s population comprises Angelenos who have come here from all corners of the world, especially from Mexico and Central America. Jackie Amézquita has lived through the impact of displacement and migration, and her practice is a testimony to these histories. She creates sculptures that reflect on memory, collectivity, and transformation using materials such as soil, masa (corn dough), limestone, salt, and copper. 

For the exhibition Made in L.A.: Acts of Living (2023) at the Hammer Museum, Amézquita presented a set of 144 slabs made of masa, salt, rain, and limestone mixed with soil sourced from 144 neighborhoods that make up Los Angeles. By physically digging up dirt and transforming it into a new form, the artist asks us to consider the metaphoric dimension of soil as a source of life and an imprint of this moment in history. Each piece in this monumental grid was incised with a different drawing inspired by real images of sites across the city and scenes of daily life in various diasporic communities. The artist understands these engravings as gestures of survival that highlight the invisible actions of undocumented people that pass unnoticed but are essential to the community of Los Angeles.