January 16- February 18, 2010
Utilizing discarded Border Patrol uniforms, Margarita Cabrera’s soft-bodied indigenous desert plant sculptures, such as the Nopal and the Yucca, navigate within a conversation on craft, immigration, labor, and community in contemporary border politics.
Set in traditional terra cotta pots, long hand sewn threads resonant of cactus spines, Cabrera presents the dichotomy of traditional sewing practice and the mass production labor market in place today; as well as the complexity of the socio-economic issues of migrant labor and their implicit gender associations. Leaving details such as clothing labels, buttons, and zippers intact in the fabric develops a theme of camouflage in the American landscape, while the natural forms shed light on the social construction of this system.
Throughout the duration of the exhibition the space will effectively be transformed into a workshop, where laborers use both industrial capacity sewing machines and hand techniques to produce a variety of desert plants, filling the space and culminating in a landscape that conceptually mirrors the latent volatility of its actual counterpart.
Margarita Cabrera was born in Monterey, Mexico, and lives and works in Houston, Texas. Her sculpture has been included in various exhibitions, among them Phantom Sightings: Art after the Chicano Movement, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA (traveling); Nexus Texas, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, TX; Trabajo Mexicano/Mexican Work, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Ketchum, ID and Domestic Odyssey, San Jose Museum of Art, CA. In 2008 she was a resident artist at ArtPace, San Antonio, TX and had her fourth solo exhibition at Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York, NY. Cabrera is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and was a finalist for the Texas Prize in 2007.