Eyes On: Erika Harrsch features a single contemporary installation titled Under the Same Sky… We Dream. Harrsch (who is based in New York and was born and raised in Mexico City) first exhibited Under the Same Sky… We Dream in El Paso in 2017 just as regulations became more stringent for those seeking asylum in the United States. The installation also was featured at B3: The Biennial of the Moving Image in Frankfurt, Germany, that same year.
Harrsch’s installation offers a place of reflection that acknowledges the children who have crossed the border between Mexico and the U.S. The multimedia exhibition uses photography, animation, visual language, and musical performance to capture current cultural, political, and environmental issues faced by children of refugees and undocumented immigrants.
The installation is presented in a darkened space that is separated by a hanging screen; the silhouette of the screen is cut to resemble the borderline between the U.S. and Mexico with a video of clouds passing by. Visitors are prompted to enter the space and pass underneath the soft hanging screen to the other side of the room where there are mattresses and Mylar blankets, similar to those used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in detention centers that house undocumented minors who have been detained trying to illegally enter the U.S. The words of the as-yet-unpassed DREAM Act envelop the room sung by vocalist Magos Herrera. Visitors are invited to recline on a mattress and use provided lamps to read the DREAM Book, which includes the words from the song playing in the room.