“Échame Aguas”

Galería de la Raza
2857 24th Street
March 11, 2017–April 30, 2017

Bec Young, What We Do to Water, 2016, risograph print, 11 x17".

In this group exhibition, twenty-five artists depict the spiritual and physical ways in which water preserves life on this earth. Many of these works also politically attest to how water in various areas is being threatened. The exhibition’s title, “Échame Aguas” (“Keep a Lookout for Me”), gestures to solidarity with these communities and, ultimately, the wellbeing of the planet.

Blue flows throughout, from the walls to various pieces on view, suggesting the circulation of water. But even the gallery itself addresses a current crisis, through the installation Flint, Michigan, 2017, where visitors are asked to create prayer bundles that drape down from each letter of the city’s name, in order to commemorate those who are fighting for access to basic necessities every day. One wall showcases thirteen Risograph prints—each produced by a different artist from the Justseeds collective—that make a personal statement about the value of water. One, by Colin Matthes, titled Improvised Water Filters, 2016, presents three possible means of enhancing current filtration methods. Bec Young’s What We Do to Water, 2016, depicts a young child sitting by a lake containing roughly sketched bodies attempting to reach the surface. This image rests above a caption that reads: “what we do to water, we do to ourselves.” These works’ messages, positioned so closely to one another, highlight the necessity of a critical comprehension of water’s impact on all beings and communities in order to protect it accordingly for generations to come.

— Nectar Knuckles