15 rue des Arquebusiers, 75003 Paris, 00 33 1 42 72 21 27
September 8 - October 27, 2012

Wet Feet is a series of photos shot in 2012 in Miami, Florida.

Miami is one of American cities hosting the largest communities of immigrates from Latin America and more specifically from Cuba and Haiti.

A number of these immigrants are forced into going underground. Miami is one of the largest cruise and commercial ports of the United States, nicknamed « The Gate to the Americas ». But Miami has also another port, called « The Miami River Port », along the « Miami River », whose main activities are the trade with immigrants’ native countries. They send and receive all kinds of merchandises. This port is also known as a smuggling place and the point of arrival of numerous illegal immigrants. Breaker’s yards, metal recycling, containers’ storage businesses developed all around, most of them held by Dominican, Cuban and Haitian entrepreneurs.

« The wet feet/dry feet policy » is a policy which has been applied for decades by the State of Florida toward illegal Cuban immigrants fleeing from their island by boat and landing in Miami or nearby. When arrested at sea they might be sent back to Cuba, but when arrested on American soil, after a year they might be regularized. Haitian illegal immigrants do not benefit from that policy. They can be arrested and deported at any time, despite Obama’s election and the earthquake that hit the island on January 12, 2010.

The series Wet Feet, metaphorically illustrates the traces of the journeys of those who were able to reach Yuma. (Yuma is a nickname for United States in Cuban slang and by extension it names any American or foreigner).

Worn out containers photographed along the Miami River as well makeshift boats used by Cuban immigrants photographed in the Keys, south of Florida, bear the stigmata of the violent journeys endured by travellers forced to go underground.

In both cases, the purpose is to make a record of the work of time on these objects, their inexorable deterioration, melancholic metaphors of the implacable disillusion involved in the migratory experience. Disillusion of the American dream that will, without doubt, remain an eternal mirage.


Bouchra Khalili will also be present at the Fiac ( October 18 – 21) on the stand shared by the Galerie Polaris and the galerieofmarseille.

She is curently exhibiting at:

The 18th Biennale of Sydney: June 27 – September 16: Artistic Directors: Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster

Solo exhibition Wet feet, at Tarragona’s CAC until July 29, curated by Cèlia Del Diego

Reoriented , at HAVREMAGASINET, ( Boden – Sweden) until  September 30,  Co-Curator: Jack Persekian

INTENSE PROXIMITE/Y, Triennale de Paris / Palais de Tokyo, until August 26,  Curator:  Okwui Enwezor



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