Deeply unsettled by the amplifying division and separation in the U.S., Tauber wanted to turn the tables of the conversation by fostering connection and community. The result of this poetic and activist gesture is Border-Ball, a site-specific installation exploring how the dynamics of trust and open dialogue can bridge the growing rifts of fractured societies. Following on the heels of Tauber’s award-winning film of the same title, the exhibition is on view at ArtCenter’s Williamson Gallery from March 10 through June 4, 2022.
Presented for the first time, Border-Ball transforms the Williamson gallery into a ballpark with a baseball diamond-shaped installation. Stationed at each base is a series of video interviews, organized into baseball innings, of people the artist met while on his border walk. These interviews, collections of personal reflections and stories related to borders and the shared culture of baseball, reveal the complexity of our relationships across demarcated boundaries, and presents to the viewer a more intimate view of border politics beyond typical media punditry. The installation also features photographs and ephemera of the pilgrimage, along with a series of portraits Tauber created by framing his interviewees in a baseball card format. To encourage further dialogue, he has also created an interactive space where visitors can play catch and add their own stories.
Border-Ball explores the meaning of the wall and how it impacts humanity psychologically, ethically, and spiritually. Through the shared cultural experience of baseball that extends beyond boundaries, Tauber asks probing questions about immigration, compassion, imprisonment and more.
Admission to the Gallery is available by advanced request. Please note, all visitors must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, wear a face covering on campus and practice physical distancing. Proof of vaccination will be required via a link after you have made reservations.
As part of the project, the artist provides an opportunity to share our stories of immigration and the border.
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, one of the largest lockups for asylum seekers and undocumented migrants in California. 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.
Artist Joel Tauber in conversation with Christina Valentine, ArtCenter DTLA Program Director