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Armory Center for the Arts

Tanya Aguiñiga’s border wall activations

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Tanya Aguiñiga’s exhibition “Borderlands Within/La Frontera Adentro” at The Armory Center for the Arts opened just a month before statewide shutdowns were put in place. Now the exhibition has been extended through December, and this month, the Armory has been screening several of Aguiñiga’s films online in conjunction with the exhibition. The Tijuana-born artist grew up traveling across the U.S. and Mexico border. She situates her craft-based practice within the political and relational tensions that surround the border wall and its regional communities.

Aguiñiga stages border-wall interventions as part of her initiative AMBOS Project that works to activate artists on both sides of the border and engage in cross-national connections. “America’s Wall,” shows Aguiñiga and a group of female collaborators spraying a rusty metal section of the border wall with vinegar and then pressing a white sheet against it to create a “rust-dye” imprint of its surface on the fabric. In another video, the artist performs a similar action while wearing a wet garment — she hugs a post in the border wall, creating an intimate gesture of cross-border longing all while tracing the imprint of rust on her clothing.

The final of Aguiñiga’s films, “Borderlands” is now screening through October 25th, and timed appointments to view the exhibition (which includes additional sculptures, installations, and performance documentation) will be available on Saturdays beginning November 7.