Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft & Care
Los Angeles-based artist and designer Tanya Aguiñiga has established herself as a crucial voice working at the intersection of fiber art, design, social practice, and activism. Her work, ranging from her "Performance Crafting" series-which uses craft to generate dialogues about identity, culture, and gender-to whose material and form reimagine its functionality to provide "support," shows a commitment to design thinking as political. At the heart of his practice is an inquiry into how community is created, and the role that craft, design, and materiality play in its formation.
Founded by Aguiñiga and launched in 2015, BOTH (Art Made Between Opposite Sides) is a long-term initiative that activates sites along the US-Mexico border through collaborative art-making and storytelling projects. Started as a month-long activation at the San Ysidro border crossing in Tijuana, it has evolved its focus to record and paint a picture of life along the length of the border. To date, BOTH, in collaboration with artists and communities working with border issues / themes, has produced programs along the border between the United States and Mexico, stopping at thirteen US / Mexico ports of entry, and crossing to a total of forty times. In 2018 Aguiñiga will complete the project, activating the remainder of the border from where she left off at El Paso / Ciudad Juárez.
BOTH was born out of Aguiñiga's drive to use her skills in service to the ongoing issues that her family and community face in Tijuana, Mexico, where she was raised, and from which she crossed the border every day for fourteen years to get her education in the United States. Through the different phases of the project, BOTH has fostered a greater sense of interconnectedness in the border regions it has visited. BOTH as a project has become multifaceted: it is part documentation of the border, part collaboration with artists, part community activism, part exploration of identities influenced by the liminal zone of the borderlands. By connecting with local artists, activists, and makers in the border region, BOTH works to capture an accurate representation of the sister cities and communities living and working on both sides.
Positioning photographic documentation, radio broadcasts, ephemera, data, and an installation generated by BOTH, as well as seven other projects from Aguiñiga's ongoing design and artistic practice, Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft & Care at MAD demonstrates the link that the artist is forging between design thinking and community work. "Design thinking," which refers to the creative strategies for problem solving, is situated here as something inherent to craft-a vehicle utilized by Aguiñiga for self-care and community building.
Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft & Care will be on view in the second-floor gallery, MAD's gallery space dedicated to deepening visitors' experiences of exhibitions through opportunities for interactive learning, research, and reflection, next to the thematically linked exhibition The Border: Encounters Along The Border will be on display.
As a member of the Border Art Workshop / Border Art Workshop (BAW / TAF), Tanya Aguiñiga played a central role in the creation of a community arts center in an autonomous land-squat run by indigenous women on the outskirts of Tijuana before launching the Creative Capital-funded project BOTH. After leaving the Border Art Workshop, she worked with indigenous communities in Chiapas and Oaxaca, native peoples in Alaska, and underserved urban communities in Los Angeles. Aguiñiga holds an MFA in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design and BA from San Diego State University. She is a United States Artists Target Fellow in the field of Crafts and Traditional Arts, as well as NALAC and Creative Capital 2016 grant awardee. The subject of a cover article for American Craft Magazine, Aguiñiga has also been featured in PBS ' Craft in America series.
Tanya Aguiñiga is curated by Shannon R. Stratton, MAD's William and Mildred Lasdon Chief Curator, with the support of Assistant Manager of Curatorial Affairs Angelik Vizcarrondo-Laboy.
Generous support for Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft & Care is provided by Barbara Tober, Chair of MAD's International Council. Additional support is provided by Lauri and Douglas Freedman, Sondra Gilman and Celso Gonzalez-Falla, the Lenore G. Tawney Foundation, Volume Gallery, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
About the Exhibition
Artist and designer Tanya Aguiñiga, based in Los Angeles, has established herself as a crucial voice working at the intersection of design, textile art, social practice, and activism. Her work, from her "Performance Crafting" series -which uses craftsmanship to generate a dialogue about identity, culture and gender- to furniture whose materials and forms re-imagine its functionality to provide "support," demonstrates a commitment to use the design methodology as a policy. At the core of their practice there is a search about how community is created, and the role that craftsmanship, design, and materiality play in their formation.
Founded by Aguiñiga and started in 2015, AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides) is a long-term initiative that activates sites along the US-Mexico border through collaborative art practices and narrative projects. It began as a one-month activation at the border booth of San Ysidro in Tijuana, and has evolved its focus to document and display a realistic picture of life along the border. To date, AMBOS, in collaboration with artists and community organizations that address issues and issues on the border, has produced programming along the US-Mexico border, stopping at thirteen ports of entry and crossing the border a total of forty times. In 2018, Aguiñiga will complete the project,
BOTH was born from Aguiñiga's impulse to use her skills in service to the community and her family, who face ongoing problems in Tijuana, Mexico, where she was raised, and from where she crossed the border daily for fourteen years to obtain her education in the United States. . Through the different phases of the project, BOS has managed to create a greater sense of interconnection in the border regions it has visited. BOTH as a project has become multifaceted. It is part of the border documentation, part collaboration with artists, part community activism, part exploration of the identities influenced by the border zone of the border lands. By connecting with local artists, activists and creators from the border area,
Presenting photographic documentation, radio transmissions, objects, data and an installation generated by AMBOS, as well as seven other projects of Aguiñiga's continuous design and art practice, the Tanya Aguiñiga exhibition : Craft & Care at MAD demonstrates the connection that the artist creates between the methodology of "Design Thinking" and community work. "Design thinking," which refers to creative strategies to solve problems, is located here as intrinsic to craftsmanship - a vehicle used by Aguiñiga for self-care and community building.
Tanya Aguiñiga: Craft & Care will be exhibited in the gallery on the second floor, the space dedicated by the MAD to expand the experience of visitors in exhibitions through interactive learning, research and reflection, next to the thematic exhibition La Frontera: Encounters Along the Border .