Planned Land Art Installation: “Repellant Fence”

An interesting (if a bit conceptual) “land art” installation to be set up in October: Repellant Fence.

This installation will be a two mile line of tethered balloons marking out a “border” running perpendicular to and across the US-Mexico border.

The Postcommodity arts collective gives a wordy and kind of abstract explanation of the work, e.g., “a suture that stiches the peoples of the Americas together” (which is a nice metaphore).

Whether you agree with Postcommodity’s particular ideas (or even understand them), this is still a thought provoking piece, if only for the way that it dares to build something that not only crosses but basically ignores the troubled borderline. (In this case, the art work is literally transgressive.)

What strikes me, though, is the fierce FU to the National border that was drawn in the 1800s without permission or consultation with the indigenous peoples living there. Anyone can draw a line in the desert, and these indigenous artists are drawing a different line.

Furthermore, any of these imaginary lines in the desert mean what we want to make them mean. Introducing this new “border” with Postocommodity’s own narrative about it reminds us that the strife-ridden narratives about the US-Mexico border can be retold and rewritten together, if we have a will to do so. We do not have to accept the fearful and savage stories about “defending” this particular imaginary line in the desert.

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