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“You Will Not Be Forgotten”

“You Will Not Be Forgotten”

Artist Sandy Rodriguez is closing out her remarkable show of 20 works of visual art, including a display of indigenous materials she uses to make her pigments, on March 7, in Los Angeles, at the Charles James Gallery.

The show is extraordinary, blending earthy landscapes with images of the faces of children who have died in ICE and CBP custody in the past three years.

Titled “You Will Not Be Forgotten,” the show speaks to these children, and to the viewer. The children will not be forgotten We we do, and don’t do, in their service; what we say, and don’t say, about what is done in our names, will not be forgotten.

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From the gallery:

You Will Not Be Forgotten is an installation of works from Rodriguez’s ongoing Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón project and is dedicated to the seven Central American child migrants who died in US Customs and Border Protection custody during 2018 and 2019. The twenty works include portraits of the children in life, as well as a large-scale map that marks the incidents in space and time across the US-Mexico border. Among the works is a visual recipe for healing “susto,” or trauma, as written in the colonial medicinal manuscript Codex de la Cruz-Badiano, authored by an indigenous doctor who survived the 1521 conquest and subsequent plague. The map provides the ingredients for a potion and poultice that includes orchid, two types of plumeria, swallow’s nest, river water, sea foam, laurel leaves, and other elements. Ix Chel and Tenten In na are the grandmother goddesses from the Mayan and Nahua pantheons, and they flank the sides of the map. Both deities are associated with medicine, medicinal herbs, healers, and midwives, and are summoned to watch over us and these children on their journey to the land of the dead, so that they can return to visit next fall and every fall.”

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