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WRITE WITH US

Margarita Cabrera. Detail of Space in Between - Bisnaga (Sandra Castillo), 2016

Courtesy of the artist

WRITE with US

SATURDAY 9 FEBRUARY FROM 1.00 – 5.00 PM

Write with Us is a free workshop for writers of all levels, designed to encourage and strengthen important art looking and writing skills. This workshop will aim to educate and inspire both new and experienced writers, as well as address the present need for more engaging critical responses to contemporary art in Dallas. Each workshop will focus exclusively on one Dallas Contemporary exhibiting artist.

 

Designed for ages 17 + up. Please bring your favorite writing materials.

 

This Write with Us workshop will begin with a guided tour of Margarita Cabrera’s exhibition It is Impossible to Cover the Sun with a Finger, followed by discussion and writing exercises led by art historian and writer Heather Bowling.

 

All guests will be invited to submit their writing for the chance to be selected for publication on dallascontemporary.org.

FREE + OPEN to the PUBLIC

Advance registration is required due to limited space.

For more info: learning@dallascontemporary.org

 

Please reserve your spot by registering here.

 

Heather Bowling holds an M.A. in art history from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a B.A. in art history from Southern Methodist University. Most recently she worked on the Digital Collections team at the Dallas Museum of Art, and previously she served as a Gallery Educator at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. She has taught both art history and writing at Georgetown University, the former Corcoran College of Art + Design, George Mason University, Ithaca College's 'Semester in DC' program, and the University of Colorado.

 

 

Margarita Cabrera: Contrasts and Courage at Dallas Contemporary

By Anca Turcu

 

Dallas Contemporary presents, through March 17th, Margarita Cabrera’s It is Impossible to Cover the Sun with a Finger. A South American proverb here meant to denote the inevitability of South-North migration on the American continent.

 

Border patrol uniforms, reminiscent of the perils of desert crossings, have been embroidered by immigrants with the colors of dreams and agony. The artist then fashioned them into the desert-like landscape dotted by indigenous Mexican plants that takes up most of the floor space in this one-room exhibit. The cacti bear flowers, some stringy, most red, some yellow, one pink, crowning the fluffy, cotton-filled, faux greenery. While flowers abound, only a few thorns can be found in this landscape, unrealistically tame and limp, their near absence maybe denoting the idealism of migrant desert wanderers.

 

This is how the artist gives voice to the voiceless. She urges them to tell their story though embroideries similar to those messages carved into living plants all along our Southern border. She seems to urge them: Prick the uniforms of men who terrified you, stitch your dreams on their hides. Prick them with the loftiness of your hopes, with the depth of your sorrow, with the incurable sting of your regret. Over the six years old daughter that slipped from your arms in the Rio Grande, entangled by reeds that drove the life out of her. Over families back home that will not go hungry anymore, but will maybe never see you again.

 

In this one room show, while the center is all about soulful contemplation, the walls tell a story too. But theirs is the realm of context and pragmatism. A timeline, starting with 1848, the year Mexico lost half its territory to the US, speaks of once fickle lines in the sand growing into fences, barriers, walls, prejudice and spontaneous graveyards, too many to count, strewn over thousands of miles.

 

Next come a few framed works. One of watercolor butterflies, ethereal dreams of Southern multitudes, regimented into neat rows of disciplined aspirations, eliciting the viewer’s empathy. Eight other framed compositions turn reverie to reality. Their butterflies are of the pecuniary variety, dozens and dozens of them, penny-stamped and hued, aligned in a uniform, disarming kind of formation –that of conformity and consumerism. The real cause, they seem to suggest, of so many peripatetic adventures.

 

Realism also comes unframed in this exhibit. One whole wall dominated by a flag-shaped “landscape”, according to the artist, reminiscent of Manifest Destiny art. A blue, plastic, empty bucket sky reigns over the yellow “promised land” made of brooms and mop sticks: the artist’s depiction of the stereotypically inescapable confines of Latino immigrant life in America. To me, a bucket- spangled banner ready to collect the tears of millions whose dreams become drudgery, whose hopes turn into hurt, especially now, in these times of never-ending hypocrisy, and unbridled, blind, sickening hate.

 

One last frame has the sun covered with a border patrol uniform cutout, slightly smaller than the yellow disc behind it. It is, conspicuously, not a finger.