Xavier Tavera

'After the War' with Xavier Tavera - Lecturer and MFA ('17)

When Xavier Tavera (M.F.A. ‘17) moved to the Twin Cities in 1996 from Mexico City, he swapped a future law career for life as a photographer. But he also underwent an even more profound personal transition. “In Mexico, I’m nothing,” he says, referring to the fact that he can’t easily be labeled in a society where so many of his fellow citizens look like him and speak his native tongue. “But here, I’m Mexican and an immigrant and a person of color.” Understanding how that experience has impacted his fellow Latinos and their Minnesota subcultures has become a guiding force for his work. His most recent show, “AMVETS Post #5,” which is at the Minnesota History Center through April, includes 35 portraits of Mexican and Mexican-American military veterans who have returned home to St. Paul’s West Side from the battlefields of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Many of Tavera’s subjects enlisted in order to become U.S. citizens, only to see their rights undercut when they returned home. Some felt abandoned by the country they fought to protect.
Ausencias / Absences

Gustavo Germano’s 'Ausencias/Absences' brought to the Quarter Gallery at...

Argentine photographer Gustavo Germano’s exhibition “Ausencias/Absences" opened at Regis Center for Art on Friday night. Brought to the University largely on behalf of Spanish and Portuguese Studies Professor Ana Forcinito, the photographs confront the state-enforced disappearances that took place during the 1960s to 1980s dictatorships in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay.
Installation by Ashley Fairbanks. Photo: Bruce Silcox

Trauma is a Time Machine: Art and Healing in Troubled Times

Trauma collapses past and present. It suspends the passage of time. Not only does trauma alter the experience of the past: it steals the capacity to imagine a future. Since the logic of trauma asserts that the worst already has happened, life seems over; impossible to plan, dream, and believe in wild possibilities, in change. The literature on trauma calls this "a foreshortened sense of the future." To tempt the mind into unruly speculation, Iyapo Repository, a project in residence at Macalester College's Law Warschaw Gallery in St. Paul, asks for participation in creating an archive of the future. Envisioned by two New York-based artists, Ayodamola Okunseinde and Salome Asega, Iyapo Repository pays homage to Afrofuturism's Octavia Butler and the heroine of her Xenogenesis trilogy, Lilith Iyapo, but charts its own path into a complex not-yet: an archive of what might come to be that holds the imaginary residue of an even more distant future.
World of Matter - MN Daily

Exploring Geopolitics through Collaboration and Conversation

It can be quite easy to overlook ecological crises amid the seemingly more immediate crises of everyday life; but World of Matter, an international collective that investigates global material extraction, aims to bring ecology to the forefront. “World of Matter: Mobilizing Materialities” is a multi-disciplinary exhibition which explores how natural resources have been exploited and circulated, and the devastating impacts these practices cause for local and global geopolitics. It opened Sept. 14 at the Katherine E. Nash Gallery.
Jess Hirsch - Women's Woodshop

Jess Hirsch Opens the Women's Woodshop

What does it mean to have a feminine approach to woodworking, and to a shared woodshop? Hirsch clarifies that the space is not focused on the absence of men (there are some co-ed classes), but on the presence of women and non-binary arists, teachers, craftspersons and amateurs. "It's really all about supporting makers in the learning experience. It's about giving people space and time to learn at their own pace, not interjecting immediately when someone is struggling. They're able to either come to me and ask for help, or take the time to figure it out. Other situations I've experienced with woodshops, I've been corrected immediately and unable to learn at my own pace."
Professor of Urban Forestry Gary Johnson

Street Life: Photographing the City

It’s far too easy to spend the day sucked into the screen of your phone or laptop, essentially oblivious to the details of the world around you, whether that means the cracks in the sidewalk, the faded signage on corner convenience stores, or the quotidian rhythms of pedestrians and commerce on a given city block. Both Grant and Hoolihan are inspired by the cityscape right outside the doors of the University of Minnesota, and have treated this summer workshop course as an opportunity to inspire and encourage their students to explore their immediate surroundings with a sense of intention, awakeness and awareness.