Northern Triangle is an installation by Borderland Collective, led by artists Jason Reed and Mark Menjivar and art historian, Erina Duganne. In addition to the contributions of Menjivar, Reed and Duganne, it includes works by Adriana Corral, Vincent Valdez, and Ricky Yanas as well as historical documents from the Library of Congress, the National Archives, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Vanderbilt Television News Archive, The South Texas Human Rights Center, and the personal archives of Stacey Merkt and Jack Elder.
Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio, TX. (2014-15)
Threewalls, Chicago, IL. (2016)
Krannert Art Museum, Urbana-Champagne, IL. (2016)
University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ. (2017)
Stanair Gallery, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA (2017)
Mayborn Museum, Baylor University, Waco, TX (2018)
In 2014, more than 68,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended on the U.S./Mexico border, double the number from the previous year. Of this group, the majority are from the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Known as the Northern Triangle, this region has a long and complicated relationship with the United States. Civil wars in the 1980s, deportation policies, the drug war, border issues, trade agreements, unjust economic structures, political corruption, poverty, human trafficking, and many other situations have all contributed.
From 4 December 2014 - 15 February 2015, the installation activated the Project Space at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio, TX, as a history museum, community center, and classroom by employing a collaborative approach that brought forward diverse and complex histories through photographs, maps, art objects, personal stories, and political documents. The exhibition was also a host for events such as multiple gallery talks, a panel discussion with local activists, and a film screening/open dialogue night that provided more layers of context for understanding the current crisis as well as opportunities for community participation. In fact, more than a dozen large groups, from high school students to community activists, attended events organized as part of the exhibition’s educational programming. The exhibition is just one response to the current crisis and at each venue will continue to open spaces for constructive and ongoing dialogues and exchanges around the subject of art, migration, and human rights.