How Much Do I Owe You?
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.
Jameco Exchange Exhibition
For Project Luz Workers Studio, artist Sol Aramendi will invite women of the Muslim community in Jamaica, Latino residents of Jamaica, and small shop owners in the neighborhood to define their own community narratives through portraiture. Utilizing their existing skill-sets and expertise, participants will conduct research and exchange to identify an issue or question relevant to Jamaica. In collaboration with Aramendi, they will use this research to create a public project about and for the community.
Project Luz Workers Studio is held in conjunction with Once Upon A Place, a five-part program that presents an arts-based oral history model expanding upon panel and town hall formats. To remove barriers that would otherwise prevent many community members from engaging in modes of humanities-based research, three forms of public engagement are arranged at the intersection of diverse audiences and everyday places. The programming and exhibition will work in tandem to create conversations around themes of movement, migration, and communication. Local participants will employ humanities and arts methodologies to interpret, analyze and represent neighborhood issues important to them, within the context of a larger dialogue about a moment of social change sweeping across Jamaica and New York City. Once Upon a Place is supported by the New York Council for the Humanities.
The series will culminate with Panel II on Saturday, July 9, in which artists Sol Aramendi, Gabrielle Bendiner-Viani and Nicolás Dumit Estévez Raful will present research gathered and projects created in collaboration with community participants.
Hold These Truths
The Worker’s Studio is a series of nomadic collaborative art projects that brings community groups together to learn about labor rights and issues affecting immigrant workers through performance, art making and dialogue. On view are pieces from the studio, including a series of collaborative designs, activist posters, and selections from the Jornalero@App Poster Campaign, a collaboration with New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). In 2016, artist and educator Sol Aramendi developed the Jornalero Wage Theft App in collaboration with day laborers, community organizers, artists and computer programmers, bringing fair labor standards and immigrant rights together. The LED counter chronicles the frequency of wage theft during the course of the exhibition from November 13, 2017 to March 14, 2018.