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Tom Kiefer: Pertenencias / Belongings

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September 3, 2021December 19, 2021

MOCRA – Museum of Contemporary Religious Art
3700 W Pine Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63108 United States

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Sept. 3 – Dec. 19, 2021
Opening reception Fri., Sept. 3, 5 – 9 p.m.
Free and open to the public

MOCRA follows Saint Louis University’s COVID-19 prevention guidelines. The museum is currently open to both members of the SLU community and the general public. At present, masks are required for all visitors to the museum.

Additional works by Tom Kiefer are on display at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art from Sept. 3 to Dec. 31, in the exhibition El Sueño Americano / The American Dream: Photographs by Tom Kiefer.

In July 2003, fine art photographer Tom Kiefer started working part-time as a janitor and groundskeeper at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility near Ajo, Arizona. In mid-2007, he was given permission to collect food confiscated from migrants and asylum seekers and donate it to a local food pantry. He was deeply moved at finding personal belongings in the trash bins along with the food. These items, necessary for hygiene, comfort and survival, were deemed “non-essential” or “potentially lethal” and seized and discarded by officials. Kiefer began to quietly rescue what items he could, and he resigned from his job in August 2014 to focus on photographing and documenting them in an ongoing project titled El Sueño Americano / The American Dream.

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