The "Transient Triangle Project" is an experiment in alternative public art practices. Caldo aims to directly address the absence of art studios and galleries in El Paso, Texas.
The Caldo Collective seeks out spaces that are otherwise unused or neglected, or that serve a purpose unrelated to “art”. We temporarily transform these spaces into art venues. Caldo moves the artists into the space, installs work, opens the exhibition and closes it within 48 hours.
In 2015, Caldo, along with dozens of artists and community volunteers, brought STAND WITH ME to life in an alleyway in Central El Paso, at street level in the windows of the Foundation Room at the El Paso Community Foundation during Chalk the Block and on the front porches of homes in a neighborhood in Central El Paso. The project examined personhood, identity and how our community defines and creates a "home" on the 21st century border.
In 2016, Caldo, along with commuters and community members from both sides of the border created ROUTE WORK. The project traces the real routes of real people who cross the border and commute to the far reaches of the county's boundaries by public transit, often going unnoticed or forgotten altogether. After months of field work, Caldo took over a store front space at the popular "Fountains at Farah" shopping mall on the gateway to share the stories of the incredible and resilient people encountered and engaged on the bus.
"The poem provided a context that I found myself trying to piece together while I walked around on Saturday night. The train images kinda rattled around in my head with the memory of that movie that follows the experience of several young people riding on top of a freight train from southern Mexico to the Rio Grande. That movie is pretty much a nightmare story so if you've seen it the connection to local freight trains would be be a problem which maybe [the artists] didn't anticipate.
I will say that [the] head dress created a very interesting shadow effect. I guess that I'm not completely familiar with Mexican imagery so in my mind I tied it to some more verdant part of Mexico or Central America. This got me to thinking about why people leave one place to live somewhere else. Part of that story you can fill in with your own experiences in El Paso which then got me thinking about various immigration stories including the one which got me here from New Jersey and Pawn from Thailand and on and on and until my head starts spinning about where if anywhere a person belongs."
Northeast El Paso
In 2015, the Caldo Collective had the honor of working with 10 local artists for its inaugural Transient Triangle Project. Caldo's very own co-founder and Transdisciplinary Artist Xochitl Rodriguez, Composer/Musician Randy Maguire, Filmmaker/Screen Writer/Educator Angie Reza Tures, Multimedia Artist Jeanette Ramirez, Dancer Makers/Performing Artists Michelle Pacillas and Laura Corral, and Writer/Painter Marvin Hill created work for a multi-faceted, block-long public art exhibition. As the project progressed, performing artists and collaborators joined the core group of artists to bring STAND WITH ME to life. Each artist comes to the table from a different background, specializing in their own individual contemporary mediums. The project aims to trigger experimentation and a shattering of the boundaries for how art can WORK in public spaces. The Transient Triangle Project is an experiment in public feasting that focuses on providing art FOR EVERYONE, BY EVERYONE. The project eliminates walls, ceilings and even a door, taking art to the streets and making it come to life in a neighborhood near you.
Stand With Me began in an alley in Manhattan Heights neighborhood where artists installed work down an entire block of the neighborhood. The exhibition made its way to downtown El Paso, when Caldo built a house in the El Paso Community Foundation's Foundation Room during Chalk the Block. People could walk by and enjoy the show from the street, or enter the space and be welcomed "home" to the installation. Each happening created its own incredible and individual magic, and this final exhibition has plans to hold nothing back!
Kern Place Neighborhood
"STAND WITH ME is a trans-dimensional public art exhibition that engages the community in the creation, initiation and exhibition of contemporary art work in public spaces not normally related to the arts. Five artists have taken a simple poem about life "at the center of the real world" in El Paso, TX and translated it into sounds, videos, performative sculptures, installations and paintings. This work comes together to tell the stories of people who live on the border, how they came to live here and why they call El Paso home.
During this guided art walk, participants will progress through installations, built throughout the neighborhood in residents' front yards. Their first stop might seem confusing as performer, sound and video are presented in their most abstract form. As participants move from one home to another, layers of interpretation will be stripped away, and they will move closer to the core inspiration behind the exhibition. This guided experience will offer the neighborhood an opportunity to become a part of the exhibition as they carry out related interactive activities between performances. Performers offer cues throughout the walk that help participants explore ideas of migration, domesticity, family and history. Once completed, participants will be asked for their own contribution to the exhibition as they are encouraged to reflect on how they relate to the exhibition’s themes. This progression functions to also create discussion about how we find and create meaning for contemporary art practices that are unfamiliar and altogether new."
The Transient Triangle's inaugural project was made possible with support from the Manhatten Neighborhood Association, the Pride Center, the El Paso Leadership Academy, the Paso del Norte Foundation, the El Paso Community Foundation, the City of El Paso-Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, the Kern Place Association, Nicole Cobb and Family, the Yellen family, Craig Peters, countless volunteers and YOU."