October 17, 2020

Border-Ball: A 40-day pilgrimage along the U.S. and Mexico Border

Exhibition explores immigration, compassion and hope

Online Exhibition Dates:

10/17/20 – 1/16/2020

On-site Exhibition to follow in Fall 2021

ArtCenter DTLA launches the online premiere of Border-Ball, the culminating exhibition of a 40-day pilgrimage (October 29 – December 7, 2019) along the U.S. and Mexico border by artist Joel Tauber.

Border-Ball explores the meaning of the wall and how it impacts the human race psychologically, ethically and spiritually. In blog posts about the pilgrimage, Tauber asks probing questions about immigration, compassion, imprisonment and more.

Growing up, Tauber went to Fenway Park to watch baseball. He dreamed of playing professionally. Baseball, for him, stands for openness and a belief in a welcoming, diverse America. He hopes to encourage conversation and togetherness rather than division and separation.

Tauber began his pilgrimage at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California, and walked along the Border Wall before heading north two and a half miles to the Otay Mesa Detention Center. He travelled there and back again daily—a seven-mile journey that connects legal entry to the U.S. with the Border Wall and the Detention Center holding those who might be in the country without all legal permits. While walking, he declares, in English as well as some Spanish, an adaptation of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame:”

Walk with me along the border. Play catch with me in front of the wall. I don’t care what part of the world you’re from. Let’s root, root, root for teamwork. If we don’t find some, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, we’re out at the old ball game.

He also proclaims, as an adaptation of “The Star-Spangled Banner:”

Oh, say, can you see, our country’s gorgeous dream: an endless field of green, where everyone can live and play? Our star-spangled banner yet waves, over the land of immigrants and the home of us all!

Tauber wore a custom vintage baseball uniform and backpack in blue, white and red. Tossing a baseball as he walks along, the artist invites people who walk along with him to play catch.

The exhibition will be presented in two phases. The online exhibition presents the trailer of the 20 minute documentary of the project with information and still-images of Tauber’s journey. The first phase will also feature an artist talk and a limited premiere of the Border-Ball documentary. With the central component of the exhibition highlighting the personal stories of immigration, the online exhibition will feature an ongoing interactive link for visitors to the site to share their own stories on immigration.

The second phase of the exhibition will be the on-site installation of the Border-Ball project presenting a video series of interviews of people Tauber met while on his border walk. A collection of personal reflections and stories related to border and baseball, the interviews reflect the complexity of our relationships across demarcated boundaries. Presented as an installation project, Border-Ball will also comprise of photos and documentation of the 40-day pilgrimage along with an interactive piece where visitors are invited to play catch and add their own stories about baseball and the border.

Border-Ball was developed in part through Tauber’s interpretation of Tikkun Olam, a Kabbalistic mandate to do what we can to save the world. By framing his performance and documentation along the border as a pilgrimage, the artist raises the performative gesture to a meditative action of care and opens up the opportunity to share in conversation about the border rather than limit it to polemics.

Tauber was born in 1972 in Boston, Massachusetts, and comes from a long line of rabbis. His work focuses on generating conversation and facilitating change. Most recently, Tauber’s “The Sharing Project” movie was named Best International Documentary Film by the Vintage International Film Festival (Kolhapur, India) and Best International Documentary Short by the Lake City International Film Festival (Noida, India). He lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he is associate professor of art at Wake Forest University.

ArtCenter DTLA
114 W. 4th Street
Los Angeles, Calif. 90013

Exhibition hours:
Tuesday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Artwalk Thursdays till 8 p.m. (second Thursday of every month)
Closed Sundays, Mondays and holidays
Free admission

Parking is available at 415 S. Main Street (left side of Main St.; entrance between Kazunori and Big Man Bakes.) Rates are $5 for the first 90 minutes. $10 maximum. A kiosk located near the garage entrance accepts both cash and card. ArtCenter DTLA does not offer validation. From the parking garage, walk down Main St. and turn left on 4th. ArtCenter DTLA is on the left side of 4th St.

ArtCenter DTLA is accessible by public transportation. The Pershing Square Subway Station is three blocks away. Metro 92, 33, 68, 733, and DASH Downtown D on Main Street and Metro 28, 40, 45, 83, and 745 on Spring Street all stop within a block of ArtCenter DTLA. Visit Metro for bus and subway maps or call 323 466-3876.

Plan your trip using LADOT or Metro bike maps. Refer to Metro Bike Share Map for kiosk near you. Free bike parking is located in the parking garage at 415 S. Main St.

About ArtCenter DTLA: As a satellite of the College, ArtCenter DTLA provides a platform for dialogue and engagement, intersecting the campus with the Los Angeles community. As an extension of the Exhibition department’s mission, ArtCenter DTLA’s programming will focus on events and exhibitions that are critically engaging from a transdisciplinary perspective. Drawing on the resources of the College and the Los Angeles art community to collaboratively build and contribute to a culture that is diverse, innovative and relevant.

About ArtCenter Exhibitions: ArtCenter Exhibitions includes the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at its north campus in Pasadena, the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery, the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Gallery and the Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall at its south campus in Pasadena, and ArtCenter DTLA Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. These curated spaces embody ArtCenter's institutional will to understand artistic thinking and design strategies as levers in promoting social advancement, the pursuit of humanitarian innovation and use of critical inquiry to clarify objectives and truths. Using the lens of contemporary art and design, the mission of ArtCenter Exhibitions is to ignite emotional resonance, provoke intellectual dissonance and conjure unexpected pathways of thinking.

About ArtCenter: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

Teri Bond
Media Relations Director
ArtCenter College of Design
626 396-2385

Joel Tauber, creator of Border Ball exhibition.