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Jack Balas, 2020; LA PARED, NOGALES (THE WALL) (NO PODEMOS DECIR ESTO) (#1866); oil, enamel & ink on canvas, 60" x 65"

A painting (and subsequent essay) based on a walk into Nogales, Sonora, and back into the US without a passport. The essay is a meditation on immigration into the United States. This painting is a second rendition of the subject with the reverse title, THE WALL, NOGALES (#1588)

TEXTS:

THE WALL, NOGALES

In Nogales, I walk across the border with no passport, and no one in Mexico is there to ask who I am. When I come back I stand in line for an hour with a hundred Mexicans, and when I get to the desk in U.S. Customs there is no question Where Is Your Passport? I hand the agent my driver's license, she punches numbers into a computer, and in ten seconds she says "You're good, have a nice day." A block down the street I stop and think to myself: WE LIVE LIKE KINGS. AND I HAVE A GOLDEN KEY.

We can't say this.

 

LA PARED, NOGALES

En Nogales, cruzo la frontera sin pasaporte, y nadie en México está allí para preguntar quién soy. Cuando regreso hago cola durante una hora con un centenar de mexicanos, y cuando llego al escritorio en Aduanas EEUU, No hay pregunta de "¿Dónde está su pasaporte?" Le entrego al agente mi licencia de manejar, quien teclea números dentro una computadora, y en diez segundos dice: "Estás bien, que tengas un buen día". Una cuadra por la calle, me detengo y pienso: VIVIMOS COMO REYES. Y TENGO UNA LLAVE DE ORO

No podemos decir esto.