Hugo Carcia Urrutia's The Mexican Tsunami, 2010

Hugo Carcia Urrutia
The Mexican Tsunami, 2010

Mixed media

192 x 144 in

Shown at Art Santa Fe 2011 this past weekend. Originally presented at the University of Texas at Dallas / Visual Arts Gallery
!ndigNation - A discussion of individual agency in the age of corporate dominance

curated by Charissa N. Terranova, PhD

October 29 - November 27, 2010

Are we desensitized? Have all the terrorist, war and drug related movies, in addition to daily news, made us immune to what happens around us, but the real issues and tragedies are not close enough to us to make us react or change? Is the “War on Terror” a term only applied to events as catastrophic as 9/11? Should a country be celebrating its bicentennial anniversary when its residents are constantly under terrorist attacks, preventing individuals from experiencing freedom in their daily lives? Is it normal to have an average of 10 people, including pregnant women and children, executed everyday in Ciudad Juarez alone? 

Reflecting on gradual changes in Mexico’s socio-environment and the country’s struggle to deal with them, Garcia Urrutia is comparing these current issues to a tsunami, in part because like a tsunami this phenomena is an epic catastrophic event, a welling up of emotion, hopefully finally reaching a culmination of awareness and awakening. 

In the installation piece titled The Mexican Tsunami, Hugo Garcia Urrutia, intends to bring awareness of a now immune, desensitized, and in some cases defeated community, that is numbed by an ongoing wave of violence. The metaphoric “Tsunami” is presently embodied in an overflow of crime, drugs, economic disparity, and an overall sense of devastation in most of the population. Garcia Urrutia’s observation over the past years is derived from his experience of being a transplant from his hometown Ciudad Juarez, on the U.S. border to El Paso.

On July 28, 2010, Garcia Urrutia and his family tragically became a victim of The Mexican Tsunami. Hugo’s worst nightmare was realized when he received the phone call from his sister in Ciudad Juarez, informing him that their oldest brother Fernando had been shot by an unknown subject. Fernando, parent of three, did not make it. As they say “He was in the wrong place, at the wrong time”. 

Are we currently in the wrong place? Is this the right time? Should we be running or hiding from The Mexican Tsunami, or changing our ways of life to try to prevent it? 

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