In 2017 Fall, I was invited to COMMON CURRENTS, a city wide exhibition organized by art organizations in San Antonio Texas.
I proposed a Augmented Reality mobil application that features José Antonio Menchaca (b. 1800), a tejano politician who became a mayor of the city of San Antonio.
My Name is My Name (José Antonio Menchaca)
Augmented Reality Android Application, Vinyl Sticker, 2018
José Antonio Menchaca was on born on January 4th, 1800. He was an American soldier and politician who fought in the Texas Revolution and was recognized by a Joint Resolution of the Republic of Texas on December 22, 1838. Menchaca, mixed born of Native American, Mexican and Spanish descent, experienced gradual “whitening” over time. When his daughter married a Frenchman and he served as a city councilor of San Antonio, he was recognized as Spanish (the highest tier). Yet he was also recognized as a Lobo, the lowest tier and subject to the most discrimination, because of his Native American roots. Furthermore, he was also a Mestizo(comparable to today’s middle class), which is a status given to anybody with some degree of Spanish blood mixed with another race. Lastly, he was also a Tejano, which is identified as any persons who inhabits Southern Texas and of Mexican-American decent. Through the interactive AR application, the piece presents a socially and politically constructed identity of an individual.
February 1 – May 6, 2018
In celebration of San Antonio’s Tricentennial year, six downtown artist-centric organizations: Artpace San Antonio, Blue Star Contemporary, Carver Community Cultural Center, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, the Mexican Cultural Institute, and the Southwest School of Art, will partner to present an exhibition that will illuminate the 300 years of their hometown’s history. Common Currents is a diverse, encyclopedic showcase of San Antonio’s history as told and rewritten by more than 300 visual and performing artists, invited to participate by their peers, and presented over 6 venues.
Drawing on the connections or currents that run through San Antonio’s vibrant creative community, each of the organizing partners began by inviting two artists. These initial 12 artists were then asked to invite two peer artists, until more than 300 were amassed. All of the participating artists were assigned one year of San Antonio’s history on which to reflect in the development of their work for Common Currents. This exhibition is presented chronologically through a variety of contemporary media across the six venues.
Common Currents draws a portrait of San Antonio, by San Antonians. With the “chain letter-inspired” framework for the exhibition, each organization takes a backseat, letting the participating artists make decisions that may traditionally be the role of the organization or curator. This provides for an exciting presentation of artistic connections spanning our center city’s art venues.
More information at www.commoncurrents.org