7/22: Lecture, Exhibit & Installation “Case Histories” and “Out Here Death Is No Big Deal” at Santa Fe Art Institute

July 22, 2016


Tonight at the Santa Fe Art Institute 140  I will be presenting my project OUT HERE DEATH IS NO BIG DEAL with an artist talk about “Fieldwork,” and a collaborative exhibition/installation of work called CASE HISTORIES with artist Matthew Contos of Contos+Wikswo.

To learn more about this project, read my essay in Guernica and interview in Hyperallergic.

1600 St. Michael’s Drive / Santa Fe University of Art and Design Campus
Immigration / Emigration SFAI140
Interactive Installations, 20 Inspiring Talks, & Celebration

6:00-7:00PM Installations & Food Trucks
7:00-8:30PM Performance & SFAI 140 Presentations
8:30-9:30PM Music, Drinks, & Celebration

Join us as we celebrate and reflect on the work done during our Immigration / Emigration theme with an evening of ideas, art, creativity, food, and community. SFAI140 is an event unlike any other: 1 night, 20 inspiring talks, 140 seconds each. With twenty speakers in one evening, the energy and ideas shared are electric. Join us as all of our SFAI140 presenters respond to our current theme of Immigration / Emigration.

Artist Statement:

My project OUT HERE DEATH IS NO BIG DEAL addresses gender violence and femicide in the US-Mexico borderlands. Of indigenous and refugee immigrant women who are disproportionately targeted by the legacies of colonialist sexual exploitation and genocide.

Just under the surface of the earth are the uneasy bodies of murdered women and girls. Our bodies and spirits were consumed by human predators. The Vulture invokes the endurance and fierceness of survivors – as vulture, we bear witness at sites where we were violently taught that our lives are worth less than those of men. We return to crime scenes as activists, as antidotes to paralysis and passivity. The thirst for justice is a path beyond survival. We are a gathering of everyday people protesting society’s bigoted betrayal of our lives.

As vulture, we pound on the soil. We open up the secrets and lies. We disturb the dirt in which they tried to bury us. 

We create rituals of visibility and protest: rebellion and anger, justice and healing, calling attention to the crimes against us and resurrecting the lives of our dead.

To survive gender violence, women quickly become immigrants and refugees. I was a gender rights fieldworker for twenty years. Countless of my friends and allies were beaten, raped, murdered, dumped.

I was kidnapped and raped. To flee the perpetrators, I became a refugee in my own country. I fled through six states and found shelter in a pueblo outside Española.

Like others, I fled for my life through a nation filled with millions of untested rape kits. Millions of unprosecuted perpetrators. A justice system that provided no justice. Amidst brave, powerful women whose broken ribs, battered bodies, shattered skulls sheltered the youngest refugees – newborns. Through an everyday war against women that begins at birth and ends at death.

Put your hand on your abdomen. Do you feel a hole there? It’s your belly button. You came out of a woman’s body. Statistically, her body has or will experience gender violence. The violence permitted against women’s bodies is not a female crisis – it’s a human crisis.

Put your hand back on that hole. It is a hole in our conscience as a species, and also the origin of human existence. Becoming human is painful, terrifying, and a courageous act of reaching for the sublime. And out of this hole can come healing, solidarity, social change, and respect for all life, including the lives of women.

If you’d like to participate in my project, please let me know. q at quintanwikswo dot com.

Thank you