Fred Lonidier at Michael Benevento

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Artist: Fred Lonidier

Exhibition title: N.A.F.T.A. (Not A Fair Trade for All)

Venue: Michael Benevento, Los Angeles, US

Date: October 22 – December 3, 2016

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Michael Benevento, Los Angeles

Michael Benevento is proud to present “N.A.F.T.A. (Not A Fair Trade for All)” an artwork by Fred Lonidier in which he documents over 15 years of the trade agreement. This impressive body of work consisting of over 40 photo/text panels, Labor Link TV video programs, archival material and billboard proposal will be exhibited in its entirety. Below is a statement from the artist.

By now trade agreements since NAFTA have become more numerous than the public can keep up with. They are all part of a long-term effort to liberalize commerce in such a way as to expand economic growth across the globe. They are all pitched by the U.S. government as having more winners here than losers but have been accompanied by a host of studies and arguments as to actually who the winners are. Trade unions have been universally opposed to them as being, at least in part, motivated by a “race to the bottom” in terms of wages and working conditions. Indeed, like the World Trade Organization agreements, they are treaties and, as such, override national laws in a number of areas beyond labor laws including the environment and other regulations that were hard fought for by many organizations, legislators themselves and signed into law from local to national levels. The documentary artwork, “N.A.F.T.A. (Not A Fair Trade for All)” was begun in the mid 1990s well after that particular trade agreement was enacted. But the maquiladora agreement between the United States of America and Mexico already put into place and its effects upon the workforce in these plants just across our southern border were already pretty much a done deal. So much so, that the socalled “side agreements” around labor and the environment had no enforcement provisions. What was a twenty-mile zone along the northern border of Mexico, NAFTA turned the whole country into places for maquiladora “light assembly” production. Whatever the direct impacts of these trade agreement, “N.A.F.T.A. (Not A Fair Trade for All)” represents some of the troubling conditions of Mexicans who work in the maquiladoras. What stands out the most dramatically is the complete circumvention of quite progressive Mexican labor laws. So much so that maquiladora workers see the only way forward is to form their own democratic independent unions apart from the official, but government controlled, unions. These efforts have turned into a very hard and uphill struggle with the Mexican government and its official unions as well as the foreign companies using maquiladora plants throwing everything they can to defeat any defense of the labor rights of these workers.

“N.A.F.T.A. (Not A Fair Trade for All)” is the latest of many documentary photo/text/video installation artworks for, by and about class struggle.

Fred Lonidier
October 2016

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Fred Lonidier, #01 “A Big Barrier”, 1997-2000 , Framed light jet panel, 44 x 55 inches

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Fred Lonidier, #65 “Hyundai & Han Young” by Labor Link TV, 1997, Video, 28:30

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Fred Lonidier, #66B “Han Young Workers Vote” by Labor Link TV, 1997, Video, 9:30

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Fred Lonidier, #02A-I “Hyundai Piece”, 1997-2000, 1 of 9 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #02A-I “Hyundai Piece”, 1997-2000, 2 of 9 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #02A-I “Hyundai Piece”, 1997-2000, 3 of 9 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #02A-I “Hyundai Piece”, 1997-2000, 4 of 9 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #02A-I “Hyundai Piece”, 1997-2000, 5 of 9 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #02A-I “Hyundai Piece”, 1997-2000, 6 of 9 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #02A-I “Hyundai Piece”, 1997-2000, 7 of 9 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #02A-I “Hyundai Piece”, 1997-2000, 8 of 9 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #02A-I “Hyundai Piece”, 1997-2000, 9 of 9 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #03A-B “Masks of Democracy”, 1997-2000, 1 of 2 Framed light jet panels, 48 x 43 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #03A-B “Masks of Democracy”, 1997-2000, 2 of 2 Framed light jet panels, 48 x 43 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #04A-C “L.A. Times’ Class Bias”, 1997, 1 of 3 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #04A-C “L.A. Times’ Class Bias”, 1997, 2 of 3 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #04A-C “L.A. Times’ Class Bias”, 1997, 3 of 3 Framed light jet panels, 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #05 “UnRealEstate”, 1997-2000, Framed light jet panel, 43 x 48 inches

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Fred Lonidier, #06 “Charro de C.R.O.M.”, 1997-2000, Framed light jet panel, 43 x 48 inches

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Fred Lonidier, #09 “Two Runaways”, 1997-2000, Framed light jet panel, 43 x 48 inches

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Fred Lonidier, #10 “Don’t Cross”, 1997-2016, Framed light jet panel , 43  x 48 inches

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Fred Lonidier, #11 “My First T.J. Strike, 1981”, 1997-2000, Framed light jet panel, 48 x 43 inches

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Fred Lonidier, #13A/B “Free to be Poor/Libre Para Ser Pobre”, 2001, 1 of 2 Light jet panels , 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #13A/B “Free to be Poor/Libre Para Ser Pobre”, 2001, 2 of 2 Light jet panels , 43 x 48 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #15 “Rio Tijuana Bridge: A Tale of Two Globes or Two Tales of a Globe/Puente del Rio Tijuana: Un Cuento de Dos Mundos o Cuentos de Un Mundo”, 2005, 18 Vinyl panels. 20 x 37 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #15 “Rio Tijuana Bridge: A Tale of Two Globes or Two Tales of a Globe/Puente del Rio Tijuana: Un Cuento de Dos Mundos o Cuentos de Un Mundo”, 2005, 18 Vinyl panels. 20 x 37 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #19 Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?, 2009, 1 of 9 Pigment panels, 72 x 54 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #19 Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?, 2009, 2 of 9 Pigment panels, 72 x 54 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #19 Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?, 2009, 3 of 9 Pigment panels, 72 x 54 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #19 Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?, 2009, 4 of 9 Pigment panels, 72 x 54 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #19 Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?, 2009, 5 of 9 Pigment panels, 72 x 54 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #19 Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?, 2009, 6 of 9 Pigment panels, 72 x 54 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #19 Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?, 2009, 7 of 9 Pigment panels, 72 x 54 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #19 Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?, 2009, 8 of 9 Pigment panels, 72 x 54 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #19 Whither UCSD? Maquiladoras in its Future? or the Business of U.C.S.D. is Business?, 2009, 9 of 9 Pigment panels, 72 x 54 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #16A/B “’N.A.F.T.A…’ Returns to Tijuana,”/“’T.L.C…’ Regresa a Tijuana”, 2005, 2 Light jet panels, 36 x 120/each

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Fred Lonidier, #14 “Maquiladoras: a ‘rights-free zone?’/¿Maquiladoras: una ‘zona libre de derechos?’” A rejected billboard proposal to INSITE,” 2002, Framed light jet panel, 20 x 60 inches

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Fred Lonidier, #17 “MOBILE TRANSBORDER LABOR ARCHIVE” from inSite_05, 2005, Archive box with inkjet photos & texts, 14 x 18 x 11 inches

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Fred Lonidier, #17 “MOBILE TRANSBORDER LABOR ARCHIVE” from inSite_05 (Detail), 2005, Archive box with inkjet photos & texts, 14 x 18 x 11 inches

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Fred Lonidier, Exhibition Signage from “’N.A.F.T.A…’ Returns to Tijuana,”/“’T.L.C…’ Regresa a Tijuana”, 2005, 2 Vinyl banners, 44  X 161 inches/each

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Fred Lonidier, #20 “Tweety Will Not Save Us”, 2010, Pigment print panel, 42 x 42 inches

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Fred Lonidier, #12 “Maquiladora Workers, Your Savior Is Coming!”, 1995,  145 Slides

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Fred Lonidier, #07 “Sanitary”, 1997, Framed light jet panel, 72 x 50 inches

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