GREENSBORO, NC.- The Weatherspoon Art Museum
at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro opened a new exhibition, Zone of Contention: The U.S./Mexico Border. The exhibition focuses on artists investigations of issues related to the U.S./Mexico border, a geographic area of much debate and contention. Through photography, sculpture, works on paper, video, and new media, subjects such as migrant labor, immigration law, national sovereignty, and border control are examined in terms of their current social and ideological impact.
The exhibition features new and recent works by both U.S. and Mexican-born artists based in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, including Andrea Bowers (Los Angeles, CA), Blane De St. Croix (New York, NY), Todd Drake (Greensboro, NC), Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Montreal, Canada), Nicolas Lampert & Dan S. Wang (Milwaukee, WI/Chicago, IL), Pedro Lasch (Durham, NC), Susan Harbage Page (Chapel Hill, NC), Pedro Reyes (Mexico City, Mexico), David Taylor (Las Cruces, NM), and Perry Vasquez/Victor Payan (San Diego, CA). The concept for the exhibition was formed over a period of many months in dialogue with the artists, community members and UNCG faculty, and is the first in a series of exhibitions that will focus on the effects of global conflict and their impact upon Greensboro and the state of North Carolina.
In the exhibition, which has been installed in the Weatherspoons two first floor galleries, the physical reality of the border itself is examined through realistic sculptures of the two ends of the border by De St. Croix, and photographs documenting the border by Page and Taylor. Digital artist Lozano-Hemmer and the California duo of Vasquez/Payan offer opposing visions (one dark and menacing, the other playful and supportive) of migrants crossing the border, many to go to work or school every day. The narrative imagery of Bowers, Drake, and Lasch, reveal the different, and sometimes dire, life situations encountered by some Latinos and Hispanics living in the U.S. And recent events, such as the Supreme Court hearing concerning Arizonas SB 1070 law and public outings of undocumented students to draw attention to the need for the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) are explored in works by Lampert/Wang and Drake. The exhibition aims to provide a big picture of the debate over this national border, but also to hone in on how the issues affect North Carolina.
Zone of Contention: The U.S./Mexico Border is organized by Xandra Eden, Curator of Exhibitions.