Divided, Tomas van Houtryve’s 2018 video installation about the Mexico-U.S. border, will be on display at the Annenberg Center for Photography as part of the group exhibition WALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine from October 5 to December 29, 2019.
Annenberg Space for Photography
2000 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Since Baja and Alta California were divided by the seizure of Mexican land by the United States military in 1848, a political boundary has jutted into the Pacific Ocean. Over the years, the border has been reinforced from a simple line to a fence to steel barrier. This single-channel video installation focuses on the timeless repetition of lines of waves as they crash perpendicular into the barrier. The collision of waves is mesmerizing, and we notice unified lines of waves that are divided in two.
About the exhibition
Complex, challenging, and immersive, WALLS: Defend, Divide, and the Divine is a historical look at civilization’s relationship with barriers, both real and imagined. For centuries, across diverse civilizations, walls have been central to human history. This exhibit explores the various aspects of walls – artistic, social, political, and historical – in six sections: Delineation, Defense, Deterrent, The Divine, Decoration, and The Invisible. These categories overlap and change meaning according to context, much like the walls themselves: erected for one reason, their appearance and use is then altered and modified over centuries, reflecting the civilizations that have grown and changed around them.
Featuring over 70 artists and photographers, WALLS invites guests to contemplate how these structures – from the decorative to the divine – affect the human psyche and why we keep building them.
Praise for Divided
“This work took a very simple concept, a border wall between two countries, and visually infused it with all the complexities of the contemporary American debate. The ‘moving picture’ that tells this story, does so in a leisurely way, but clearly one that was thought out and executed with the utmost care and attention to detail. The ‘reveal’, at the end, lingers in your mind.” – Keith Jenkins, Director of Visual Journalism, NPR; Juror of the 2018 Producer’s Choice Award from CENTER Santa Fe.
“Van Houtryve filmed a short video from above the wall’s end, entitled Divided (2018), which seems almost meditative.” – Jacqui Palumbo, Visual Culture Editor, Artsy /