You are here

Fidencio Fifield-Perez: Little Cuttings

Exhibition Details

Fidencio Fifield-Perez: Little Cuttings
August 30 – October 27, 2019
Opening reception: Friday, August 30, 6-8pm

Delmar Gallery
6640 Delmar Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130

Artist Gallery Talk 
Saturday, October 5, 2pm

Delmar Gallery
6640 Delmar Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130

St. Louis, the United States’ “Gateway to the West” for two centuries, has always been an epicenter of migration, exploration and growth. Beginning with early occupations by the Spanish and French, followed by the arrival of Germans, Italians, Serbians, Lebanese, Syrians, and Greeks after the United States acquisition, people have always flocked to St. Louis as a place of hope, redemption, and new beginnings. It was St. Louisans who supported the Louisiana Purchase Expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. During the Civil War, it was a group of volunteer German immigrants who held the armory for the Union at great personal cost. A century later, we erected a monument to celebrate our identity as a city rooted in the immigrant experience - our beloved St. Louis Arch. Today our city is home to an active Bosnian community, a booming Latinx community, a host of Syrian refugees, and many others who enrich our community with their culture, knowledge, and art.

It is because of this history that the narratives flowing through Fidencio Fifield-Perez’s work are familiar to us. While it may feel more aspirational than actual at times, America has always been a place for dreamers. Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Fifield-Perez’s family migrated to North Carolina for a better life and greater opportunities. Raised in North Carolina, he attended the Memphis College of Art for his BFA. Upon graduating from MCA, Fifield-Perez first applied for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) which allowed him to attend The University of Iowa for an MA and a MFA. His work explores his personal experiences with immigration and interrogates the concept of home.

Due to his status, Fifield-Perez is face-to-face with scrutiny and political debate every day. DACA recipients must prove that they are a resident every two years. Because of this, Fifield-Perez has had to deal with an incredible amount of documentation and correspondence. His body of work, Dacaments, reflects this process; consisting of a series of paintings on envelopes accumulated over the last two years. He paints his personal house plants on these packages to map correspondence and relationships with loved ones, lawyers and the government. Barn Quilt is cut out from collected and used maps. A large installed paper quilt traces Fifield-Perez’s journey travelling around the Midwest and admiring the classic form of the American barn. He cuts a pattern into the maps reminiscent of a wire fence such that light can cascade through it, casting a shadow—a hint of border fencing.

Barn Quilt allows the viewer to simultaneously experience the classic comfort of a traditional Barn Quilt and the othering barrier that is the border fence. The viewer can walk through the shadows, a metaphor that Fifield-Perez hears often.

As a child, Fifield-Perez’s spent time with his cousins folding paper and creating beautiful paper flowers, a technique that is a traditional Oaxaca custom. His new work is a series of prints he created by weaving together paper strands and then printing the finished woven surface. Methodically cutting and folding paper to mirror a fiber weaving, he inks the paper and runs it through a press. The images are subtle and remind Fifield-Perez of the impression a pillow or woven cloth makes on the skin after a long slumber.

The delicateness and fragility of Fifield-Perez’s work reminds us of the fragile gift of permanence. As much a bold statement of identity in the face of institutional adversity as it is a reflection of his own love and empathy, Fifield-Perez’s work presents us with an opportunity for reflection as we collectively grapple with contemporary policy and a shifting political climate. His work is a place to start from, a place from which we can begin thinking about our own personal immigration stories, and an opportunity to reflect on how and why we choose a place to build our home and make a life.

I would like to thank Fidencio for giving us the opportunity to help him share his story with the St. Louis Community. I commend him on his braveness and I admire his skillfulness in creating such powerful, thoughtfully subtle, and moving work.

Stefanie Kirkland
Director of Exhibitions

About Innovations in Textiles

Innovations in Textiles 2019 is a collaborative event presented Fall 2019 throughout the St. Louis region—including St. Charles and Columbia, Missouri, and Metro East Illinois. Innovations in Textiles 2019 serves to enlighten the community with a unique aesthetic perspective on fiber art.

Created to investigate the state of contemporary textile arts, Innovations in Textiles 2019 is comprised of over 40 regional nonprofit & commercial art galleries, organizations and museums that have joined forces to present innovative exhibitions that explore fiber art, textiles and fashion created by local, regional, national, and international artists.

In addition to exhibitions, a broad range of artistic programming & activities is planned, including receptions, open houses, workshops, lectures, gallery talks, studio tours, a bus tour, and other community programs throughout Fall 2019. Innovations in Textiles 2019 will take place August through November 2019 with a special weekend of events scheduled with Surface Design Association’s “Beyond the Surface” St. Louis Conference October 3-6, 2019. Learn more on our website: https://www.innovationsintextilesstl.org/

Workshop

Edge to Edge: Repeat Block Printing with Kelsey Viola Wiskirchen
Sunday, October 6, 10am - 5pm
Delmar Design Studio, 2nd Floor
Registration required.