Dressed in a black cocktail dress and, at times, wearing stilettos, artist Ana Teresa Fernández took on the controversies surrounding the United States/Mexico border by “erasing” the fence between the two countries with blue paint. From a distance, her work looked like a gap of blue sky in the rusted steel bars.
In the five years since the original installation of “Borrando la Frontera (Erasing the Border)” was created on the fence dividing Tijuana and San Diego, Fernández’s work has inspired conversations about U.S./Mexican relations along the border and about broader issues raised by U.S. immigration policies. Similar installations have appeared along the border elsewhere in California and in Arizona and Texas.
Fernández will talk about her art during a lecture at California State University, Northridge on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Her lecture is slated to take place at 4 p.m. in the Kurland Lecture Hall of the Valley Performing Arts Center.
“Her work pushed the boundaries, literally and figuratively,” said Chicana/o studies professor Melisa Galván. “Fernández’s work makes a statement about social justice, as well as about how art can really challenge our notions of what is real and what is imagined. At the same time, it brings us together in its creation, and that’s a powerful thing. It also challenges what we see in the news media, and it forces us to reconsider how our borders are constructed.”
Fernández was born in 1981 in Tampico, Mexico, and she lives and works in San Francisco. Through her work, she explores the politics of intersectionality and the ways it shapes personal identity, culture and social rhetoric through painting, performance and video. Her work illuminates the psychological and physical barriers that define gender, race and class in Western society and the global South.
She has exhibited at Humboldt State University; the Tijuana Biennial in Mexico; the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana; the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; and The Oakland Museum of California. Her large-scale 5W public art project in San Francisco was awarded “Best of the Bay” by 7×7 Magazine in 2013. The Headlands Center for the Arts granted Fernández the Tournesol Award and her films have been screened at festivals internationally.
For more information about her lecture, contact Melisa Galván at email@example.com.