Objects become extensions of oneself and our relationship with others. We can think of letters, pictures, and phone calls as forms of communication. For immigrants, the box is one of those elements. The boxes carry food, toys, objects, and anything that can reunite us with our loved ones.
The sent toys are not just toys, but also an augmentation of the presence of the sender. A Kermit plushy is not just a Kermit plushy but “ The Kermit Auntie Rosa sent me”. After a few years, the collected objects become part of the family growing constantly to create a tangible city filled with artificial but authentic aunts, siblings, and friends. “You are here” and “I am there” is an installation project that makes these kinds of connections evident.
Displayed in a temporary arrangement the boxes will insinuate broken portraits of families. Each side has a possible connection building infinite possible solutions to the same image. Surrounded by paintings of body parts echoing the divided condition of refugees and asylees.
Each box serves as a different part of the body (the hand box, the head box, the legs box) and can be rearranged to create new figures and meanings.
Once the exhibit closes in Chicago, the boxes will be collected, filled with food and toys to be shipped with the help of Panas In Chicago (A Venezuelan Non-Profit that helps Venezuelans to establish in the windy city) to CENAIF Foundation (Center for Children and Family in Ejido, Merida, Venezuela) and be distributed between the children.
The boxes that traveled from here will be displayed again there at Espacio Proyecto Libertad in Merida, Venezuela with the damage of the shipping and handling of the transportation echoing the emotional damage that we all, here or there, go through.
The project closes its cycle after being shown in Venezuela as “I am there” completing the tile as “You are here…I am there” (Tu aquí…yo allá)