Unearthed: Desenterrado is an outdoor, site-specific artwork by Texas-based artist Adriana Corral that speaks to the deeply rooted history between the United States and Mexico. Located within the historic grounds of the Rio Vista Farm in Socorro, Texas, the counter-monument features a solitary 60-foot flagpole hoisting a large-scale white, cotton flag. Embroidered on either side of the flag is the illustration of a “Mexican” golden eagle and an “American” bald eagle, each emblematic of their respective nation’s patriotism.
Visible from the El Paso–Juárez horizon, the flag stands as a marker for the Rio Vista Center, a facility most notably recognized as a key processing center to the Bracero Program. The Bracero Program, which was established by the federal government during World War II, is known as one of the largest foreign worker programs in U.S. history. Between 1951 and 1964, the Rio Vista Center processed approximately 700,000 Mexican workers. Today, the program is described by many people as a period of “legalized slavery,” according to findings from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
By calling attention to this overlooked part of American history, Corral’s work endeavors to stand as an acknowledgement of unknown human rights violations, as well as to inspire deeper conversations about our history —and future —of border control along the U.S.–Mexico border.
Unearthed: Desenterrado is produced by Black Cube, a nomadic contemporary art museum, based in Denver, Colorado and curated by Cortney Lane Stell. During the three-month exhibition, the flag will become tattered and worn due to inclement weather. After its display in Socorro, Texas, Corral’s flag will be exhibited in museums and cultural institutions across the country.
Special Thanks to:
The City of Socorro
Victor Reta, The City of Socorro
Braceros and their families
Sehila Casper, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Juvenio Guerra, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Josh Franco, The Smithsonian Museum of American Art
Rose and Pete Corral
Dr. David Dorado Romo