Nery Gabriel Lemus (b. 1977 Los Angeles) is an artist that explores the politics of difference and representation through works in a wide range of mediums.
Immigration has and continuous to be a controversial topic within the United States. Being that we live in a state that borders a foreign country (Mexico), the issue advances to a “hotter” topic. That being said, for my project at Steve Turner Contemporary, I address the controversial topic of immigration by connecting images that encourage the viewer to formulate ideas about immigration. I attempt making these connections by indicating parallels between similar forms of travel; that of migrating birds and that of migrating immigrants. My intent is to explore metaphorical analogies of the social and political act of migration, thus forming a critical deconstruction of these ideas.
The title of the exhibit, Friction of Distance, derives from the concept that distance usually requires some amount of effort, money, and/or energy to overcome. For example, in purchasing gasoline one will tend to patronize stations that are located nearby rather than traveling a considerable distance for fuel, hence, a minimal amount of friction. On the other hand, to seek a better quality of life (migration), one may be less concerned with travel distance, and the "friction of distance" may play a lesser role in ones decision. Even though the immigrant is aware that he might confront such things as; paying money to coyotes, rape, robbery, dehydration, being arrested, and even death, the migrant sees a greater gain in reaching “the other side.” This concept also applies for migrating birds, out of necessity they migrate (climate change) and the friction they encounter in the distance they travel is not of concern.
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