Community Garden, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles
Can a garden transport you to another place? Andi Xoch thinks so. Her work explores the way gardeners in the Latinx neighborhood of Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, create personalized outdoor spaces. The two installations in ¡Plantásticas! are inspired by community and home gardens throughout the neighborhood. They recreate some of the practical and spiritual benefits of real gardens by offering visitors places to play, rest, and enjoy plants.
Creating with What You’ve Got
You may notice repurposed objects in Andi Xoch’s art installations. These are expressions of rasquachismo, an artistic style that embraces reuse. Xoch encouraged the Exploratorium to reuse materials as well, to harmonize with her installations and to reduce waste.
Rasquache in Spanish once meant something tacky or junky. Chicano artists founded the rasquachismo movement in the 1960s and 70s, inspired by people in their communities repurposing found materials. This artistic style challenges traditional definitions of design, and celebrates “making the most from the least.”
“Rasquachismo is a working class art movement and art practice bestowed upon us by our migratory matriarchs. It’s rooted in resourcefulness and is an aesthetic expression of the underdog. The idea is to create something of beauty through fervent ingenuity.”