Haydee Alonso Inter Acting1of4

The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility


January 27 - April 14, 2018


516 ARTS, in partnership with the Albuquerque Museum, announces The U.S.-Mexican Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility. The group exhibition presents the work of over 40 designers and artists working along the U.S.-Mexican border who are engaging the region, a a locus for imagining the extraordinarily hybrid culture that has developed there and as a site of production that engages the welfare and wellbeing of migrants and citizens who live there.

The border has come to occupy an intellectual and psychic space as well as a territorial one. It comprises as geography of memory as much as being a place of transit and transformation. Much of the creative production around the border unearths the complex ways in which artists, architects, designers, and makers who live in border states negotiate two divided but interconnected realities. Although this exhibition was conceived before the topic of “building a wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border captured media headlines, its relevance is more potent and instructive than ever before. 

The contemporary artists in this exhibition explore the border as a physical reality (place), as a subject (imagination), and as a site for production and solution (possibility). While the selection largely focuses on work executed in the last two decades, it also includes objects by Chicano artists in California who came together in the 1970s and 1980s to address border issues in their work. The inclusion of artists from various disciplines, including design, architecture, sculpture, painting, and photography, reflects the ways in which contemporary artists and designers themselves cross disciplinary borders.

Ana Serrano
Marcos Ramirez ERRE
Betsabeé Romero
Teddy Cruz
Studio Rael San Fratello
Tanya Aguiñiga
Einar & Jamex de la Torre
Guillermo Galindo
Margarita Cabrera
Haydeé Alonso
Judith F. Baca
Eduardo Sarabia
Cog•nate Collective
Teresa Margolles
Guillermo Bert
Julio Cesar Morales
Viviana Paredes
G.T. Pellizzi
Ray Smith
Fonna Forman

The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility demonstrates the humanity and distinct creative cultures along this contested territory and underscores the interconnectedness of the two countries that are in danger of being violently and destructively impacted by aggressive nationalism, exclusionist policies, and racism.

The original exhibition is developed by and traveled to Albuquerque from the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles where it is on view September 10, 2017 – January 7, 2018 for Pacific Standard Time Los Angeles/Latin America (PST LA/LA) 2017. The main exhibition in Albuquerque is hosted by 516 ARTS, and is being expanded into a collaboration with an additional exhibition site at the Albuquerque Museum, an accompanying series of interdisciplinary public programs around the city, including activities in partnership with UNM College of Fine Arts. A fully illustrated exhibition catalogue includes essay contributions by Michael Dear, Gustavo Leclerc, Kerry Doyle, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Jose Manuel Valenzuela Arce, Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, and Jorge Gracia.

516 ARTS Fulcrum Fund Juror Lowery Stokes Simms 1Curator Lowery Stokes Sims, recently named one of the Most Influential Curators by Artsy, is the retired Curator Emerita at the Museum of Arts and Design. She served as executive director then president of The Studio Museum in Harlem and was on the education and curatorial staff of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. A specialist in modern and contemporary art, she is known for her particular expertise in the work of African, Latino, Native and Asian American artists. She has published extensively and has lectured nationally and internationally and guest curated numerous exhibitions around the world. Sims holds a Ph.D. in art history from the Graduate School of the City University of New York, and has received six honorary degrees.




Image: Haydee Alonso, Inter-Acting (1 of 4), 2015, copper, brass; digital photography