For her Artpace project, el otro lado, Wallace further focuses on the U.S./Mexico border. Through research and driving the two thousand mile boundary, she gathered stories from the river, desert, and walls of both sides of the frontera. The material gathered has resulted in a video and sound installation exploring the projected fears, desires, and politics of the constructed barrier, and reflecting on the unnecessary difficulties it creates.
Simulating the divisive and claustrophobic North/South partition, the gallery is bifurcated by walls and a two-sided screen that streams video of the actual fence. Like the real line separating the borderlands, this version tantalizes with slits large enough for eyes or hands, but not the bodies that constantly seek to get through.
A surround sound system relays the Spanish and English words of people encountered: migrants who risk the desert journey, humanitarians who provide water, a tribal member whose land is broken, environmentalists, landowners, a border spokesperson, and a reformed coyote. The final sound segment represents an annual moment of resilience and resistance; a bi-national volleyball game using the border line as a net.
Through voices and video el otro lado excavates the impact of the government-imposed wall. As in previous works, with this piece Anne Wallace weaves personal material into a compassionate installation that wonders why and at what cost.