The Denver Art Museum’s new exhibit
Mi Tierra: Contemporary Artists Explore Place
features installations by 13 Latino artists that express experiences of contemporary life in the American West. One of those installations, Jaime Carrejo’s
, is a clever video installation that looks at how a border fence or border wall might change the way Americans and Mexicans view each other.
The installation consists of a ten-foot tall scrim with projections of Mexican sunrises on one side and U.S. sunsets on the other. Because of the 50/50 transparency of the scrim, similar to one-way mirrors found in interrogation rooms, the videos at times are totally apart and at times blend together.
“The project is really centering around the idea of place and space — visibility, if you will — but looking at the idea of the border wall, the border fence that exists now. What does that architectural structure say about us as a culture?” Carrejo tells Westworld. “I grew up in El Paso, Texas. It was one of the first places the wall went up. I remember coming back from grad school to visit my mom in 2009, and this monstrous thing had just raised from out of the ground from who knows where. It was just this really interesting sort of thing, this really big scar on the landscape. The Chiuahuan Desert landscape is really gorgeous. I’m interested in that structure and how it changed the way we view Mexico vs. the United States. I think it really created an us-them sort of thing. Because I’m thinking about the fence as a reflection of us, I wanted to keep the style of the fence, so this is very similar. It’s as close as I could get to being the actual fence; it’s half-scale. The border fence actually goes twenty feet high; this is ten feet.”
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