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Tonight: Mexican Contemporary Artists Bring Video and Performance to ALAC

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Lukas Avendaño remembers reading a book when he was a 15-year-old, growing up in Oaxaca, about a train that blew through Tucson and Phoenix on its way from Mexico.

More than 15 years later, the performance artist is in Phoenix for the first time, and says the environment couldn't be more different than what he imagined.

Avendaño packed his bags in the beginning of summer and took to the road with 11 contemporary Mexican artists who aim to share their own perspective and host an open dialogue about border issues between their hometowns in Mexico and cities in Arizona.

Tonight, these artists will perform and showcase their work, collectively called Arizona Between Nosotros, at ALAC's 147 Gallery and will host a discussion panel tomorrow.

Arizona Between Nosotros (or "Arizona Between Us") is a name that comes from the bad reputation and connotation Arizona and its residents now carry as a result of the debate around illegal immigration and SB1070.

The video and performance work was selected and curated by six Arizona-based artists who wanted to give voice to a new perspective in the immigration and border debate -- the voice across the border.

Last night, Avenda

"I don't want [audience members] to just watch, or to just listen, or to just be thinking," he says. "I hope that they open themselves to what's happening."

The artists will perform throughout the night, from 7 to 10 p.m., and gallery visitors are encouraged to watch videos projected on the gallery walls and performances throughout the space, as well as to interact with the program's artists and curators.

"It's a better idea to get to know each other and get to know each other as brothers and sisters," he says. "And I think that if people allow themselves to be touched, that their construction of the 'other' would turn for the good."

Arizona Between Nosotros will also host a roundtable discussion with the artists about their work, identity politics, and Arizona/Mexico relations on July 9 at 11 a.m. at ALAC.

Tickets (available online) to the art exhibition are $10, $8 members/students and admission to the discussion is free. 

For more information, check out the

ABN website

and

event info on Facebook

.



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