April 20, 2011

The Borders Crossed Us

Art exhibit symbolizes border between

By Brian CanovaFor the next week and a half, a photographic replica of the border between southern Arizona and Mexico will exist between the parking garage and the campus center to demonstrate the effects of driving a barrier down the center of a community. Organizers of “The Borders Crossed Us” expect its effect to compound over time as the fence continues to divide campus through May 1.

The exhibit is meant to simulate the effect of the fence built by the United States government after September 11th which cuts in half the Tohono O’odham Nation, the second-biggest federally recognized Indian reservation. It was created by artist Catherine D’Ignazio from the Institute for Infinitely Small Things, an artists’ collective that focuses on projects that take place outside the traditional museum or gallery setting.

Printed on mesh screen-like material used to wrap fences on typical construction sites, the exhibit features photographs taken of the border from the backyard of Ofelia Rivas, a native of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

“That is my backyard. That is what I have to deal with now. Helicopters are there every day. They didn’t ask permission from the people who were originally there,” said Rivas.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see I Didn't Cross the Border Art Exhibit.

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