Dark Treasure, 2012
Existing vault shelving, vinyl records, oxygen masks, corn, lavender. LED lighting.
In this formerly empty bank vault, Aramendi’s installation draws attention to the money and labor that immigrants contribute to US economy. Configured as an underground incubator of lavender and corn seeds, whimsically lit by oxygen masks. the work invokes these mostly invisible foreign workers who both literally and figuratively plant the seeds of our fresh food and keep the country going. Some of the plants incubated in this space are included in the wall garden at the entrance of the exhibition.
The slideshow of immigrant labor is composed of photographs taken by participants in Project Luz, an project formed by Aramendi as a nomadic space to share, learn and experiment using photography and art as a tool of empowerment for immigrant communities.
The floor is covered with vinyl records, evoking memories not money. Visitors are welcome to take one with them.