The weight we carry

OPENING RECEPTION: Friday, September 11, 7-9 pm at the Gallery Factory, with safety precautions in place. Link to Facebook event here.

GALLERY HOURS: September 11 – October 10, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 12-5 pm or by appointment (612-743-6664) with safety precautions (see below). Find directions and a map on our website here.

Note: In light of safety concerns, we will be practicing social distancing, limiting to ten people in the gallery at one time, supplying masks to those who do not have them, and spraying down/sanitizing frequently. Please contact us with questions or to make a private appointment at or 612-743-6664.


In ambiguous times, a solid mass weighing heavily provokes uncertainty, and a lightness of debris emanating from burned buildings dissipates hope. The aggressiveness of barricades, tear gas canisters and the assortment of rubble becomes artifacts gathered in the aftermath to bear witness to actions and stories.

The 6” x 6” x 6″ concrete cubes were fabricated as a small gesture, a personal and collective imposition. The mass of the weight conceals the dust from the streets of South Minneapolis, debris from the burnt buildings, water from Bdote (the junction where two rivers come together), granite from the pedestal of the dislodged Columbus statue in Saint Paul, sand from Fort Snelling, sweat from labor, items made by an undocumented youth, combined with a touch of personal domestic items.

For me, the absurdity of the labor to construct these blocks helped to establish order and create normalcy during the instability. They bear witness to matters of personal and historical importance that should not be forgotten.

– Xavier Tavera


After moving from Mexico City to the United States, Xavier Tavera learned what it felt like to be part of a subculture—the immigrant community. Subjection to alienation has transformed the focus of his photographs to share the lives of those who are marginalized. Images have offered insight into the diversity of numerous communities and given a voice to those who are often invisible. Tavera has shown his work extensively in the Twin Cities, nationally and internationally, including Germany, Scotland, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay and China. His work is part of the collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Plains Art Museum, Minnesota Museum of American Art, Minnesota History Center, Ramsey County Historical Society and the Weisman Art Museum. He is a recipient of Bronica scholarship, the McKnight fellowship, Jerome Travel award and State Arts Board.

See more of Xavier Tavera’s work on his website here, and find more information about THE WEIGHT WE CARRY at the Facebook event here.