Earlier this year I drove to San Antonio from Austin to have my pick-up truck repaired and I decided to wait it out by visiting Artpace museum. A selection of monographs featuring the work of each artist in the exhibition had been neatly laid out in the reading room. I flipped open one and the entire page consisted of a memo that read:
“The reports indicate that a “handful” of children, described as being between the ages of 13 and 15 years old were “discovered” by the authorities at Guantánamo.”
The memo, dated 2003, was addressed to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. It was one image in a selection of redacted correspondence from the “war on terror,” compiled and rendered by artist Jenny Holzer as colorized silkscreens.
And it upended the way I analyzed the ongoing “border crisis.”
The arrival of tens of thousands of asylum seekers at the southern border had been filtered through the nation’s ongoing conversation about immigration. But when stripped of its immigration veneer, the hieleras and the perreras at the border—ice boxes and dog kennels—find an analogy in the American-made war strategy named GTMO.
In the inaugural issue of Adi magazine I examine the U.S. government response at the border through the lens of the “war on terror.” The story can be found here.