Fencing In Democracy

curated by Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Margaret Dorsey

Lupe Flores, Abrazos no balazos/Hugs not Slugs, 2016
  • Artists:
    Shantal Brissette
    James Brown
    Jason De León
    Sergio De León
    Celeste De Luna
    Lupe Flores
    David Freeman
    Luna Galvan
    Alejandro Lugo
    Randall McGuire
    Scott Nicol
    Alfred Quiroz
    Ronald Rael
    Carolina Rocha
    Gilberto Rosas
    Virginia San Fratello
    Maurice Sherif
    Carlos Vélez-Ibañez
We live in a world of walls. With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, pundits rejoiced in the dawn of a new era, a world without walls. Instead, walls now permeate our world with at least 33 nation-states constructing them. These walls are the centerpiece of policies aimed at increased surveillance and militarization and the reconfiguration of rights and citizenship at borders. Concrete walls, metal fences, and concertina wire speak to the overwhelming military logic that guides our current approach to borders. In the United States presidential candidates compete over who will do more to militarize "the border." Mainstream media, through its reporting and circulation of images, fuels the public's articulation of borders as war zones.

The bilingual (English and Spanish) group exhibition Fencing in Democracy brings together work by artists, activists, architects, and anthropologists who have created alternative designs for the U.S.-Mexico border wall, opposed its construction, and/or portrayed its impacts and on border life and culture. The exhibit explores what it means to fence in, or enclose, democracy. Works range from Maurice Sherif's photography with its emphasis on the harshness of the border wall's metal rendering the landscape as barren, to James Brown's architectural plans for a "friendlier" friendship park. The exhibit also features the work of artists who have located their art on the border wall itself. Finally, artists such as Celeste De Luna portray the border wall as scarring and cutting 'the in-between spaces' that border residents inhabit.
 
Dr. Miguel Díaz-Barriga is currently a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Richmond. Previously he taught at University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and served as the The Carol L. Zicklin Endowed Chair for the Honors Academy at Brooklyn College. He received his bachelor's degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago and his masters and doctorate degree from Stanford University. His research has focused on concepts relating to Mexican-American politics and identity, Latin American social movements, and border studies. He is the recipient of grants and research awards including the National Science Foundation for the project "The Border Wall, Immigration, and Citizenship on the United States/Mexico Border.? Professor Diaz-Barriga served as the President of the Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) from 2010-2012. His forthcoming book with Margaret Dorsey is entitled Militarization on the Edge: Necro-Citizenship and the U.S.-Mexican Border Fence.

Margaret Dorsey is currently an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Richmond. Previously, she taught at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) and was a Visiting Associate Professor of Anthropology at Brooklyn College (CUNY) from 2014-2015. Her research focuses on border security, Mexican American folklore, and border studies more generally. In 2014 Dorsey resided in Santa Fe as a Ethel-Jane Westfeldt Bunting Fellow at the School for Advanced Research. Dorsey has won numerous grants (National Endowment of the Humanities, National Science Foundation) and published numerous articles on borderlands music and politics and is currently completing a book manuscript with Miguel Díaz-Barriga on border security. Her other book-length projects include Linda Escobar and Tejano Conjunto Music in South Texas (2013) and Pachangas: Borderlands Music, U.S. Politics, and Transnational Marketing (2006). Dorsey is founding curator of the Border Studies Archive at UTRGV.



Installation Images

Brochure Images

James Brown, Friendship Park, 2016, Digital image


 

James Brown, Friendship Park, 2016, Architectural rendering

 

Jason De Leon, Half Dead (Sonoran Desert), Photo by Lucho, 2009, Digital image

 

Jason De Leon, Mountain Climbing (Sonoran Desert), Photo by Memo, 2009, Digital image

 

Celeste De Luna, Breach Baby, 2015, Woodcut on paper, 36 x 60 inches (detail)

 

Celeste De Luna, Don't Hate the Player, 2015, Linocut on paper, 15 x 20 inches (detail)

 

Celeste De Luna, North: The Checkpoint (Las Garritas), 2013, Oil on canvas, 24 x 72 inches

 

Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Margaret E. Dorsey, Casabe, Arizona looking from the Mexican Side to the United States, 2009, Digital image
 

Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Margaret E. Dorsey, Veterans Protest Anti-Immigration Legislation, 2010, Digital image
 

Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Margaret E. Dorsey, A Wall is Not the Solution, 2010, Digital image

 

Miguel Díaz-Barriga and Margaret E. Dorsey, Pedestrian Trail, 2009, Digital image

 

Lupe Flores, Hugs Not Slugs/Abrazos no Balazos, 2016, Digital image

 

Lupe Flores, No Border Walls, 2016, Digital image


 

Alejandro Lugo, Border Wall at Paso del Norte/Muralla Fronteriza en Paso del Norte (from the series Cruces: Crosses and Crossings), 2016, Digital image

Alejandro Lugo, Border Patrol Waiting/Patrulla Fronteriza Esperando (from the series De Espaldas/Seen from the Back), 2016, Digital image
 

Alejandro Lugo, Fenced White House Welcomes Latino Immigrants/ La Casa Blanca Encerrada da Bienvenida a Inmigrantes Latinos (from the series Cruces: Crosses and Crossings), 2008, Digital image

Alejandro Lugo, Twenty-First Century Pioneers in Arizona/Pioneros del Siglo Veinte-y-Uno en Arizona (from the series De Espaldas/Seen From the Back), 2016, Digital image

Randall McGuire, Justice for Jose Antonio, 2016, Digital image

 

Randall McGuire, Downtown Ambos Nogales, 2013, Digital image

 

Scott Nicol and David Freeman, Section O-21, 2016, Digital print, 144 x 48 in (detail)

 

Alfred J. Quiroz, Mano por Centavo (from the series Border Milagros), 2004, Abraded aluminum, 72 x 34 1/2 inches
 

Alfred J. Quiroz, Sinagua (from the series Border Milagros), 2004, Abraded aluminum, 60 x 98 inches

 

Gilberto Rosas, Hemorrhages, 2012, Digital image


 

Gilberto Rosas, Fenced Visions, 2013, Digital image


 

Gilberto Rosas, Dying to not be Enslaved, 2008, Digital image

 

apexart’s program supporters past and present include the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation, the Buhl Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Spencer Brownstone, the Kenneth A. Cowin Foundation, Epstein Teicher Philanthropies, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., William Talbott Hillman Foundation/Affirmation Arts Fund, the Fifth Floor Foundation, the Consulate General of Israel in New York, The Puffin Foundation, the Trust for Mutual Understanding, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and administered by LMCC, funds from NYSCA Electronic Media/Film in Partnership with Wave Farm: Media Arts Assistance Fund, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, as well as the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.