Performance: Tanya Aguiñiga, Metabolizing the Border, January 2020

Here are the photos I shot for Tanya Aguiñiga’s performance, Metabolizing the Border, January 2020, at the Otay, CA/Tijuana, Mexico border.

Tanya’s solo exhibition ‘Borderlands Within’ just opened at Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena and runs through August of 2020. Come check out the exhibit, which includes these photos I took of her performance. For 1.5 hours, Tanya walked back and forth along the US-Mexico border wall wearing the glass suit.

Metabolizing the Border, Tanya explains, “Following three years of active physical and emotional labor on the entire border, my body is now trying to figure out what to do with all I have experienced. Having completed Quipu Fronterizo/Border Quipu in 2018, I have started to distill the two-thousand mile border through my body. Trying to understand how I dealt and deal with the materiality of the border with my five senses, I metabolize the physical as emotional through performative wearables made of blown glass embedded with border fence [remnants]. Metabolizing the Border explores how the body confronts fragments of the border fence through sight, sound, smell, taste and tactility. The sandals are modeled after tire-soled huaraches that rural and Indigenous people wear in Mexico and Central America. They are sculpted in glass to represent the struggle migrants face when arriving in the United States of not being supported enough to succeed in society, and are designed to fail to make more difficult a wearers’ journey. These glass prosthetics represent a radical shift in my work methodology and materials, bringing my twenty plus years of work on the border to an acute focus on the corporeal experience of borders. With this new series I aim to give a larger platform to the emotional and psychological effects that a border wall has on those living on the border.”

Respond to Performance: Tanya Aguiñiga, Metabolizing the Border, January 2020

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