Gloria Martinez-Granados (b. 1983)
Handmade Dress, Digital Print on Fabric

The ideology of American exceptionalism asserts that America's legal, economic, and educational systems are the most virtuous and, thus, Americans themselves are unquestionably exemplary. This way of thinking not only creates the conditions under which a “good” resident is measured against a “bad” immigrant, but also the criteria for evaluating what constitutes a “worthy” immigrant. In her piece Pupil, Gloria Martinez-Granados examines what it means to be a “good” immigrant in the eyes of the American education system. Appending her childhood report cards onto a pristine handmade school dress, Martinez-Granados foregrounds the experience of undocumented individuals navigating the politics of respectability in American culture.

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Contingent Perimeters is curated by Alexis Herrera. This exhibition is supported by the Jonathan and Lizzie Tisch fund at the University of Michigan Museum of Art. It was developed as part of the Guest Instagram Curator Program. To see the Instagram exhibition and learn more, please click here.