Mica Chueca/ Fake Green Card: Evidence of the Illegality of the System, 2021.Oil on reclaimed wood that came from the carpentry woodshop where I used to work as an undocumented worker. The painting is an oversized reproduction of a fake green card, the first one that I purchased in order to work in the United States. Dimensions: 44 ½ in x 26 in x ¾ in.
As migrants when we cross the border into the United States, we are immediately entangled into games of power, law and order, criminality, exploitation, etc. – games which we must play in order to survive. Micas chuecas, which is the Mexican slang for fake work visas, are a big part of this.
I have used several micas chuecas over the years, and I chose this one in particular to reproduce because of how “fake” it looks. It’s fake-ness is a way to think about how simple labels like “real” vs “fake” hide many layers and complications having to do with power, relationships, and histories. The existence of a “fake” document and the existence of a “real” document – the fact that there are documents at all that can be justification to separate a person from their rights becomes “evidence of the illegality of the system.” When we take it upon ourselves to create our own authorizing documents, the rules of who belongs within the borders of a nation come into clearer focus as fictions of colonialism and capitalism.
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