Borrando la Frontera (Erasing the Border) 1

Practitioner: 

Date: 

Nov 4 2014

In Borrando la Frontera (Erasing the Border)", Ana Teresa confronted the fence between the United States and Mexico by putting on her black dress and heels and painting the fence sky blue. The article was published to Inspire on November 2014 by Joe Shepter. Please view a short clip provided in external sources...

On first viewing, the performance makes a simple statement of protest. But the more you watch it, the more you realize how rich it is in incongruity. The dress is entirely wrong for the task. The heels make you nervous as she teeters on top of the extension ladder. The beach that the fence cuts through is better suited for sun bathing than conflict. And the task is hopeless: One person could no more paint the entire fence than resolve the issues that led to its construction.

“Borrando la Frontera was a silent cry of exacerbation with the immigration policies that were and are happening,” she explains. “I found it highly ironic that the object that obstructed a path would be train tracks, a symbol of journey and movement. These tracks stand vertically next to each other, like prison bars across the sand and into the ocean, dividing land, sea, and sky. In my ideal world I wanted to topple them. The only way I knew how was through my own weapon: paint. I could paint them out.”

As with many of her performances, this one at first drew puzzled looks from passersby. But when she explained what she was doing, many of them got it and loved it. For them, living near the border was a burden too, and they responded by mentally blocking it out. With her painting, she brought it back to them.

“Political art is a risky business,” she admits. “It is often difficult to isolate a voice when there’s a multitude of voices screaming around you. This includes images as well. Issues become passé, grouped, didactic, or obvious. I found that mystery is often the loudest voice. I also never underestimate the intelligence of my audience.”

Artist Background: She’s ridden horses in water, mopped a polluted stretch of beach, and painted the United States–Mexico border fence blue. Ana Teresa Fernández is a dynamic young artist known for her beautiful explorations of border politics and gender issues. TO LEARN MORE, refer to the external sources for her personal website.

In addendum: March 23, 2015 Palestine Festival of Literature (http://www.palfest.org/) posted photos of the following event, which was then reposted by NUART FESTIVAL Non-Profit Organization committed to celebrate Street Art and Urban Culture (www.nuartfestival.no) Likewise, you can find their FB links.

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-Trayju

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