ALBUM OF FENCES
Translated from the Spanish by Jose Antonio Villarán
Poetry / Photography.
April 2nd, 2018
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Album of Fences was supported by a grant from Arizona Humanities.
Omar Pimienta documents what living on either side of a
militarized border does to a community, how it distorts, breeding suspicion and
lies. Here a father brags he has always crossed using a false ID, never through
the desert, and a son crosses easily once he has (or claims to have?) a job
building destroyers. Here a guard demands that a woman breastfeed an infant
she’s carrying to prove that it’s hers. Pimienta allows ironies and horrors to
speak for themselves – and they do. Loud and clear. —Rae Armantrout
In Album of Fences, Omar Pimienta writes the membranes that thrive between the sensed-real of the culturally residual and the liminally sensed hyper-real of the culturally emergent. His vision isn’t of an epiphany variety, but rather is borne of a subtle constructivist process of cultural shiftaramas. Writ large into being are alter-selves that get marked up to what Guillermo Gomez Peña has called, “the mainstream bizarre.” Nimbly threading History’s objects ('nation', 'family', 'selfhood', 'city', 'work world' 'friends'), Pimienta guides us into and out of a Borderland Capture-Zone. The result is a transnational, infra-biographical holography that sets the stage for a lived-life poetics. The creative tension between “biography” and public myth—is nothing short of dazzling. —Rodrigo Toscano
Pimienta is an alchemist of memory, turning simple snapshots into legends, fathers into brothers, heroes and ghosts. His Tijuana is not a wall but a magic portal.