Laura Anderson Barbata, ‘Ni todos los que son estan, ni todos los que estan son’, 2001, Ruiz-Healy Art

The artist listed all of the languages that are spoken in her country, Mexico and in the United States of America. She used the style of writing of Guaman Poma de Ayala, the Andean scholar who wrote to King Philip the III of Spain in 1613. "It is my intention to remind ourselves of the richness of our linguistic heritage and diversity. People are still surprised to see that so many of our ancient indigenous languages are still spoken today both in Mexico and the USA. It is a reality that many of these languages are being subjected to extreme social pressure and the number of speakers are diminishing, but many are growing and strong. I have used the internet site of the Summer Institute of Linguistics as the source for this information, to emphasize on the duality of missionary work, the complicity in it’s methods for documenting, preserving and permanently affecting the future growth of the language and culture that has been studied. I have used their information to pinpoint the 9 most widely spoken Native languages of the USA and 13 of the most widely spoken Native languages of Mexico, indicating in both cases the number of speakers of each, and 3 “border-free” languages that are spoken in both of our countries. These pinpointed languages are set on a sheet of hand-made paper formed on a mold from a cut down tree. The rings in the tree trunk are used as a metaphor on how they reveal themselves to us only after the tree has been cut down, and how we must exercise our responsibility for the preservation of our heritage and that of our neighbor."

Publisher: Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper

About Laura Anderson Barbata