about the exhibition
New Works 04.3
San Antonio, TX
November 11, 2004–January 23, 2005about the artist
Native Texan Anne Wallace gathers material from her immediate surroundings and recontexualizes it in community-based projects, videos, sculpture, and sound pieces that fuse personal and collective issues. Through sidewalk panels that reveal the past, a video of abandoned oil on the family ranch, or a sculpture made out of salvaged trees, Wallace connects mythology and history with present realities, and questions the individual's role within the environment.
While Wallace has used video and sound to evoke place, in the 1980s/90s she produced a body of works with wood. The artist re-presented damaged trunks to highlight people’s affect on nature, but also to explore the raw realities of those on the U.S./Mexico border. As a human rights advocate living along the frontera for a decade, she imaged refugee’s stories through drawings and carvings. In Amando en Tiempo de Guerra (1989-91) a group of roughly hewn, life-size figures lament the fallen. Intermingled with smooth patches of wood are painful chainsaw marks signifying both physical and psychological injuries. This installation, like Wallace’s others in wood, sound, and video, empathetically explores an issue intimate to the artist and of broad social concern.
Anne Wallace received her BA from Duke University, Durham, NC in 1976. Solo shows include Galveston Arts Center, TX (2002); Sala Diaz, San Antonio, TX (2001); and Orchard Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland (1992). Recent group exhibitions include Latino Redux, University of North Texas Art Gallery, Denton, TX and Texas Dialogues: Scenic Overlook, Blue Star Art Space, San Antonio, TX, both in 2000. Wallace lives in San Antonio, TX.
about the project
For her Artpace project, el otro lado, Wallace further focuses on the U.S./Mexico border. Through research and driving the two thousand mile boundary, she gathered stories from the river, desert, and walls of both sides of the frontera. The material gathered has resulted in a video and sound installation exploring the projected fears, desires, and politics of the constructed barrier, and reflecting on the unnecessary difficulties it creates.
Simulating the divisive and claustrophobic North/South partition, the gallery is bifurcated by walls and a two-sided screen that streams video of the actual fence. Like the real line separating the borderlands, this version tantalizes with slits large enough for eyes or hands, but not the bodies that constantly seek to get through.
A surround sound system relays the Spanish and English words of people encountered: migrants who risk the desert journey, humanitarians who provide water, a tribal member whose land is broken, environmentalists, landowners, a border spokesperson, and a reformed coyote. The final sound segment represents an annual moment of resilience and resistance; a bi-national volleyball game using the border line as a net.
Through voices and video el otro lado excavates the impact of the government-imposed wall. As in previous works, with this piece Anne Wallace weaves personal material into a compassionate installation that wonders why and at what cost.