July 17, 2002

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'Border (x)iconography: New Media + Photography from Tijuana'
Through Aug. 3, TerrainArts

ARMANDO RASCÓN, curator of "Border (x)iconography: New Media + Photography from Tijuana," calls it "post-border" art. The works by Julio Morales, Sergio de la Torre, Julio Orozco, and Yvonne Venegas explore Tijuana in the age of ever increasing globalization; the images are about border crossing, but they have nothing to do with "immigrants" in the conventional (maybe even stereotypical?) sense. The show is one of the first for TerrainArts, formerly Terrain Gallery, in its new temporary space after a yearlong hiatus. The audio drone you hear comes from Sergio Morales's three TV monitors, each showing a different clip from Perez Prado's 1963 film El dengue de amor. The clips, just two seconds apiece, have been looped and accelerated into an electronic-sounding soundtrack that recalls, obliquely, Prado's experimentation with musical hybrids like mambo rock. Julio Orozco's Sangre americana poster-and-video installation summarizes what has been for him a huge, elaborate, ongoing project: a series of film-and-performance art events centering on the disappearance of Tijuana's vintage movie theaters. The photography of Yvonne Venegas and Sergio de la Torre captures another aspect of border culture that's often ignored in the press and other public discourse: the lives of middle- and upper-class Mexican women. Venegas, the daughter of a prominent wedding photographer, takes pictures of her former school friends now living in Tijuana. Unlike stereotypical "border women," they are not maquila workers or prostitutes; they live in beautiful homes and raise lovely children with stable family lives. De la Torre's video and photographic project, The Ideal, documents the opinions of educated Mexican women who live in the Bay Area as legal immigrants. Surprisingly, many of them don't consider themselves immigrants at all; they think of it as a name for political refugees or for non-English speakers, but hardly as a term to describe their own lives. Tues.-Fri., noon-5 p.m., 165 Jessie, S.F. (415) 896-0249. (Lindsey Westbrook)