Mexico/Staten Island: Irma Bohórquez-Geisler
The work in this exhibition will be intimately familiar to many viewers. To others it will present an up-close view of a community of people unknown to them. In either case, these compelling photographs open our eyes to the everyday customs and individuals who comprise the Mexican community on Staten Island, New York.
When studying these pictures and immersing ourselves within each of these complex images, we feel as if we have become a participant in the daily activities of the individuals depicted. In the work of Irma Bohórquez-Geisler (who trained as a scientist in both Mexico and Oxford, U.K., and who started documenting the Mexican community in 2001, after she and her family moved to New York in 1991) the barriers that separate the realities of Mexico and the U.S. seem to disappear.
We the viewers are afforded the possibility to participate, if only at a distance, in a rally for immigration reform, to attend a quinceñera (a girl’s fifteenth birthday party), a wedding or a tamale-making session in a family kitchen. The artist has stated: “Living in Staten Island has given me the opportunity to record moments of [my neighbors’] daily life and their celebrations that would otherwise remain largely invisible to the broader community and quite possibly lost to history.” With this exhibition we are able to closely observe this history and appreciate its beauty and richness.
- Curated by Edward J. Sullivan
- Production: Roberto Campos-Ruiz / The Mexican Cultural Institute of New York
- Museography: Leticia Pardo and Katherine Castañeda
- Installation: Constantin Apostol