“Two Hour Wait” is a new body of work where I explore the duality of commodity and necessity through the symbol of handmade “chiclets” made from porcelain and terra cotta. Going shopping to either the mall or the second-hand shops in El Paso, Texas was common. There was always a perceived quality of value from buying anything across the border. I remember waiting for a long time to cross the bridge from Juarez, where my mother would buy chiclets from children that spent their days selling them at the bridge to support their families. Although the chiclet represented an immediate income for them, this little rectangular chewing gum has a history as well. The word chicle (gum) comes from the Mayan word sicte, or xictli in Nahuatl. In ancient Latin America, our ancestors cultivated this gum. This commodity was made popular by its introduction to Spanish colonists, and its popularity remains today with the flows of people traveling back and forth across the border.
Two Hour Wait
The Adjunct Show
November 9 - 30, 2019
500 X Gallery
Photographs courtesy of Melissa Gamez-Herrera and Kerry Butcher