LAS ÁGUILAS DE LA FRONTERA
I recently founded a performance art collective called “Las Águilas de la Frontera,” composed of Mexican and North American scholars in order to critique the US / Mexico border condition. Performers don eagle masks embodying the shared symbolism of both nations while interacting with objects reflective of the movement of goods and desires across the frontier.
The inaugural performance tested the theory of the macrofrontier, or the urban condition produced at the San Diego-Tijuana border extended to the limit of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles. In the macrofrontier, cultural interactions transform the way inhabitants perceive, interpret, and interact in space. In the piece, performers exchanged a series of objects such as cigarettes, letters, and souvenirs through the fence openings. The eagles danced or celebrated in satisfaction after each exchange. The scale of each item increased until finally a vacuum cleaner, representing the fetishism of appliances as symbols of modernity, was passed over the barbed wire. The positionality of the performers / characters was deliberately ambiguous, reflecting the kinetic property of the border and the complex identities it produces.