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Joe Lewis
Climbers - Escaladores
2019

dye-sublimation and embroidery on linen

15 × 26 in (38.1 × 66.04 cm)
5,000 USD

The initial notion behind "Climbers" was based on the conflation of two songs. An old spiritual, "My God is so high, you can't get over him," and Gil Scott Heron's poem, "the revolution will not be televised." Some believe it's possible to build an un-scalable fence and identify with the first three lines of the former lyric. But no manmade wall is impenetrable, hence the fourth line of the stanza. Whether going over, under, or through, opening a door is the climber's actions. However, their intent is best described by Heron's warning. "The revolution will not be televised... the revolution will be live," the text of which, in English and Spanish, is muddily embedded beneath fence image, an anthem only available for full inspection once the climbers can taste "freedom" on the opposite side. It's blurred because the reality of their freedom is a myth. The streets are not paved with gold. And if it were, it's gold looted from their ancestors long ago.

“Well don't you know it’s so high (so high) you can't get over it.
So low (so low) you can't get under it
So wide (so wide) you can't get around it
You must come in at the door”
(Traditional Spiritual)

The revolution will not be televised
Will not be televised
Will not be televised
Will not be televised
The revolution will be no re-run, brothers
The revolution will be live.
(Gil Scot Heron)

“Donald Trump has praised the construction of a newly constructed wall along the US-Mexico border, which the president has insisted "can't be climbed."

But a viral video has proved that the wall can easily be scaled with a ladder.

“In September, the president stood in front of the construction of a portion of the wall, which he said had been tested by "world-class mountain climbers" who found that "this was the one that was hardest to climb."

The video from by Deseret Sun photojournalist J Omar Ornelas shows a man bracing a tall ladder at the foot of the fence as two men climb to the top, then easily slide down the ladder rails from the other side of the perforated fence.
Reports also showed how people have been able to breach the wall using common household tools that cost less than $100 from a hardware store.”