A Border Peepshow
Kate Clark + Sara Velas
As we move through our cities and towns we often read our world as a fixed moment of time. Yet, take for example the 8 kilometers of land between San Diego and Tijuana, known today as an international border. Over the past 150 years, its ranches and rivers have been divided and replaced by 3 walls of steel and concrete. A Border Peepshow provides four views of the political separation of a culturally and ecologically connected terrain. Drawing on historic and contemporary photographs of the region, each box depicts scenes of San Diego/Tijuana from 1887, 1927, 1967 and 2017.
Design of A Border Peepshow references 18th-century parlour toys and the 19th century cameras that first photographed the SD/TJ border. First shown in San Diego and Los Angeles, the Peepshows have traveled to other parts of the world to mark borders of the past and present, including the former East/West Berlin Wall. The Peepshows serve as an interpretive tool to discuss borders and their relationship to people, land, and time.
A Border Peepshow is a collaborative project between Parkeology and The Velaslavasay Panorama. Parkeology is a public art program that excavates buried social histories within museums, archives, and urban parks. The Velaslavasay Panorama is an exhibition hall, theatre and garden dedicated to the production and illumination of unusual visual experiences, including the 360-degree painted panorama.
Kate Clark is an artist that co-creates projects about public history through multisensory installations, performance, and video. She is the lead artist and director of Parkeology. She has served as a research fellow at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution, and received her MFA at the University of California, San Diego. She is based in the Puget Sound.
Sara Velas is an artist, graphic designer, gardener, curator and architectural preservationist. She is the Founding Director of the Velaslavasay Panorama, a nonprofit museum she established in the year 2000 to create immersive art forms and multidisciplinary programs. Born in Panorama City, California, she received her BFA in Painting from Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri and resides in downtown Los Angeles.