About the Fence: Oct 10-Nov 6

San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery
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Mesa College Art Gallery
Acerca de la Cerca/About the Fence

An exhibition of photographic works and installations by Tijuana and San Diego artists: Carmela Castrejon, Maria Teresa Fernandez and Paul Turounet. Video by Ana Teresa Fernandez.

Exhibit runs October 10 - November 6, 2013

Gallery Talk: Wednesday, October 30, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

The border fence separates the U.S. and Mexico, San Diego and Tijuana but it is also acts as a site of interventions and interactions. In this exhibition artists from both cities examine the human and social impact of this impenetrable barrier.

Paul Turounet uses sections of fence salvaged from Border State Park in San Diego to build a corrugated steel wall 10 by 40 feet in the gallery space. Attached to this framework are images from his project Estamos Buscando – We’re Looking For (2002-09). On his motorcycle and by foot, Turounet traveled the migrant trails to capture intimate portraits of the crossers. He printed the sepia toned images on aluminum photographic plates to resemble the old “retablos” from Mexican Catholic folk tradition. The migrants received a copy of their portrait, a record and memento of their unusual encounter.

Maria Teresa Fernandez observes the fence from the Tijuana side and for several years has been interested in this physical barrier as a canvas where artistic expression, religious and political beliefs are expressed.  She documents murals painted for the Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos; crude wooden crosses to remember the men, women and children that die attempting to cross; and political slogans, calls for protest. LA Times critic 
David Pagel says: "(Her) tightly framed pictures bring visitors nose to nose with the fence and arm’s length from the often poignant mementos left beside it by people whose lives it has affected."

Fernandez subject matter inspired her daughter, Ana Teresa Fernandez, to create a performance and installation titled 
Erasing the Border/Borrando la Frontera. In the video documentation of this piece we see Ana Teresa dressed in a tight little black cocktail dress applying blue paint to the steel posts of the border fence where it meets the Pacific Ocean.  The artist, here, actively engaged in a visual process of erasure of that barrier.

Carmela Castrejon has been exploring border issues in her individual work and also as part of binational artist collectives such as the Border Art Workshop/Taller the Arte Fronterizo and Las Comadres.  She also participated in several of the IN-SITE installations. Castrejon will present assemblages that combine photographic images, cutouts and recycled objects.  The hands of an indigenous woman weaving as a cutout attached to an old wooden picture frame, the craft and tradition that connect us to the larger social and historical narrative of a border region that is at once American and Mexican, old and modern, promising and dire.
(Adjacent and across from the flagpole)

Gallery Hours: MTW 11-4 pm, Thursday 11 – 8 pm. Closed Fridays, weekends and school holidays.

Gallery Director: Alessandra Moctezuma, 
Gallery Coordinator: Pat Vine, pvine@sdccd.edu

San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery:  7250 Mesa College Dr., San Diego, CA 92111    

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