“Esta Tierra Es Tu Tierra” is an on-going immersive multimedia installation focusing on the US-Mexican border and the lives it affects. The preview exhibition held at Current Gallery (Baltimore, MD) in November 2016 featured research data in the form of moving images, photography and found objects gathered from the border itself, spanning its entirety; from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific. Research and materials were gathered by Erick Antonio Benitez in the Winter 2015 & Summer 2016 by traveling to numerous border sites along the S. West of the US and Mexico.
Esta Tierra aspires to capture and depict the implications of a border by simulating the experience of its cold and brute physicality. In replicating just a portion of such a structure in a part of our country so geographically removed from the actual place and real events, perhaps we can lead people to consider the threads between one’s comfort and another struggle, from the personal to the global. Education and empathy are key to understanding the history of such intersections and conflicts, the reasoning behind leaving one’s home country/original conditions and the risks in journeying to a foreign land, or desire to defend your own country from unknown change. A work of the scale of Esta Tierra Es Tu Tierra creates the time-space for the growth of the mind and insight through simulated experience into situations viewers may otherwise never know or critically and compassionately consider.
This project was awarded the 2016 Ruby Artist Project Grant, sponsored by the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, which allowed funding for its in-depth investigation and early development stages. Ideally, Esta Tierra Es Tu Tierra will be a traveling - touring exhibition with the intention of reaching a wide and diverse audience all through the United States of America.