This major, year-long subRosa project for The Interventionists,
mapped the intersections of women’s material and affective labor in cultures of production in North Adams, MA, and Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and investigated the similarities and differences of economic, cultural and every-day life effects of the outsourcing of labor and globalization on these towns and on their local female labor force. Large, aerial wall maps of North Adams and Ciudad Juárez featured oversized map pins denoting “points of view,” and flanked a “forensic floor” that concealed objects, texts, and clues beneath loose boards. Visitors were encouraged to discover connections between the aerial maps, the contents beneath the floor, and a third printed “road map” distributed in the space. Also displayed were five posters by contemporary Mexican artists, expressing concern and outrage about the continuing murder and disappearance of women in Ciudad Juárez.*
The “Clothing Tag Map,” a separate part of this project—displayed in the foyer of the Museum—allowed visitors to cut the tags off their clothing and pin them to a Dymaxion world map, according to the location where each garment was manufactured. Thus visitors actively explored, and demonstrated their own participation and complicity in globalized labor conditions.
- The Interventionists: Art in the Social Sphere, curated by Nato Thompson, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, May 2004–March 2005 (catalog, link).
- Thought Crimes: The Art of Subversion [clothing tag map only], curated by Diane Barber, Diverse Works, Houston, TX, April 1–May 28, 2005.
* Can You See Us Now has its own web site.