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New commissioned artwork at ASU Art Museum receives national acclaim

This summer, ASU Art Museum is presenting a new commissioned work by Mexico City-based artist Yoshua Okón, in an exhibition titled "Oracle" at the museum’s 10th Street and Mill Avenue location on ASU’s Tempe campus. Okón’s multi-channel video installation centers on anti-immigration protests against unaccompanied children who are fleeing violence and poverty from Central America into the United States.

Yoshua Okón, "Oracle," 2015. Still from video. Image courtesy of the artist.

Produced during Okón’s residency at the ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program, "Oracle" was inspired by Okón’s experiences in Oracle, Arizona. In a recent conversation with Artforum, a premier international monthly magazine specializing in contemporary art, Okón describes his time in the desert:

“Oracle is a very small town. It wasn’t long before I was able to interview the leaders of the protest. I presented myself as an artist who uses video and told them that my goal was to put their issue on the table and then let people make up their own minds.”

The project also stresses the importance of art in understanding beliefs and points of view that may be different from our own. “The portrayal I am constructing gives a wider perspective and is more nuanced than the mainstream media,” said Okón.

“Yoshua has been in residency with the museum since October 2014 working on this project. This type of work takes months of research, planning and editing,” said curator Julio César Morales. “The ASU Art Museum International Artist Residency Program allows artists to create these types of deeply meaningful projects. Okón’s residency with the museum and the resulting exhibition is an excellent example of how we are working with artists that allow the ASU Art Museum to have a national and international presence and strengthen the importance of socially-based art projects.”

See Yoshua Okón: Oracle at the ASU Art Museum through Aug. 22, 2015.