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Trans Border Collaborations


leon and kerry's talk at HERA conference

leon and kerry's talk at HERA conference

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  • Leon: Opening remarks Kerry: What is bi-national art? Responding to the border in a way that reflects the semi-permeable nature of the border, in which many people/most people are not of one side or the other. How our personal backgrounds reflect bi-national experience.
  • Kerry: Brief description of the exhibit. Growing significance of the timing, desire to make local links without oversimplifying the message of The Disappeared or trying to draw correlations where they did not exist. Leon: Approach to the exhibit as a Mexican (Mexican disappeared were nowhere to be found). Why draw regional and local relationships with the exhibit. Significance of the original invitation to collaborate.
  • Kerry: Idea behind Battleground exhibit. Original notion of collaboration (students visiting human right NGO’s, webcam “complain box”, workshop). UTEP’s change of policy regarding visits to Juárez. Leon: Reaction to UTEP’s policy as a Juárez native, citizen and UTEP grad. Misunderstanding about workshop/performance as the proposal for the trans-border collaboration. Reaction to original “webcam complaint box” idea.
  • Kerry:The importance of having a “presence” from Juarez on the El Paso side, the fact that the virtual performance more accurately reflected the border reality than any other kind of performance. Idea of having a show about violence that in some way connected to the violence in Juarez, beginning to reveal the constant tension felt by border residents. Leon: Reaction to experience on ep side. Experience on jz side. Interpretation as jz resident.
  • Kerry: Lessons left behind by the experience from the ep side (how to work around official policies, remaining open to possibilities), importance of creating a space that reflected student realities, subtleties of border. Leon: Lessons left behind by the experience from the jz side (possibility of transgressing border in virtual terms, bringing something to the table even if it means changing the original artist’s idea)
  • Kerry: Brief intro to Fernando’s work. Fernando’s proposal for workshop. Leon: Original reaction to Fernando’s proposal.
  • Kerry: Actuality of workshop (how successful it was)
  • Leon: bicycles in Manuel Arroyo’s march. Learn how to trust the artist’s original idea.
  • Leon: Brief intro to DesCercos. Kerry: Reasons to support DesCercos
  • Leon: Success of DesCercos as VERY local event. Kerry: Reaction from ep to this part of DesCercos.
  • Leon: Very brief description of exhibit. Kerry: Failure of DesCercos as Bi-National event.
  • Kerry: Closing remarks


  • 1. Trans-border Collaborations: The Power and Problematic of Bi-National Art   Kerry Doyle Rubin Center for the Visual Arts UTEP [email_address] Leon De La Rosa Visual Arts Program UACJ [email_address]
  • 2. The Disappeared June 18-September 11, 2009  
    • Latin-American Art created amidst social, political and military unrest and abuse.
    • The possibility of art as a tool for social change.
    • Strategies to broaden the impact in the community, to encourage artistic responses to the border reality.
  • 3.
    • Art in an exploration of personal and public forms of violence.
    • Artists were not responding directly to the border in the existing work, but the growing border violence formed
    • a particular context for the work .
    Battleground: Tania Candiani and Regina Jose Galindo
  • 4.  
  • 5. Tania Candiani Visiting Artist January 2009  
  • 6.  
  • 7.  
  • 8. Battleground Opening Night Transnational Performance  
  • 9. Documents on display as part of the exhibition January 22-May 2, 2009 in the Rubin Center Project Space  
  • 10. Fernando Traverso Visiting Artist, May 2009  
    • Initial event for The Disappeared
    • Art in order to “not forget”
    • Relevance in regional context.
  • 11.  
  • 12.  
  • 13. Workshops on both sides of the border   El Paso Cd. Juárez
  • 14. March in Honor of UACJ Professor Manuel Arroyo 
  • 15. DesCercos Feb-Aug 2009  
    • Final event for The Disappeared.
    • An entire community about to disappear.
    • Education, technology and documentation as weapons of resistance.
  • 16.  
  • 17. Exhibition at Gun Gallery
  • 18. Trans-border Collaborations: The Power and Problematic of Bi-National Art   Kerry Doyle Rubin Center for the Visual Arts UTEP [email_address] Leon De La Rosa Visual Arts Program UACJ [email_address]