Maximiliano Cervantes Harlingen, Texas 1999 Living and Working In My Long Distance Intimate Autoethnographic Studio Chicago, IL 2024 The School of The Art Institute of Chicago BFA 2021 Northwestern University Art, Theory, And Practice MFA 2024 Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture 2024


maximilianocervan@gmail.com


In my practice, I create images that evoke the border wall as a kaleidoscope from the wastelands of the borderlands to Chicago. My borderlands, The Rio Grande Valley, Texas, a site of Gore Capitalism, is the new frontier for an interplanetary society. Within these borders - The US/Mexico border wall, The United States Checkpoint, and the Kármán line 60 miles above us - strategies of power are acted out. The assemblage of surveillance, physical barriers, policing, and mass incarceration, contribute to sculpting a model migrant or citizen of the borderlands. This ideal person is docile, resilient, able to withstand physical stress, underpaid, and not fast enough. In my long-distance intimate autoethnographic studio, I engage in the standardization of image-making. Images are set in the past, present, and future, images as living landscapes, portraiture, documentation, and fabrication of anthropological studies create a chain reaction of mythological storytelling, crossing evidence with alchemy. My starting point is the presence of aerospace factories in these lands. These companies are SpaceX and United Launch Alliance. I appropriate from my father's labor as a factory worker, down to .001 inches of sweat. He worked as a structural mechanic for 34 years at United Launch Alliance, an intimate relationship between Lockheed Martin and Boeing in Harlingen, Texas. During breaks and dirty jokes, my dad and his friends shot magically sanitized rivets, constructing the Atlas V rocket. The payload faring includes the Mars Curiosity Rover as well as the means for space exploration, colonization, warfare, surveillance satellites, militarized communications, and weather analysis. I use curiosity and technical perfection in my gridded dioramas, large-scale inkjet prints, to magnify the catastrophe of these worlds collapsing. The body is staged, shirtless, dusty, with stainless steel reflection, sterilized for new lands.