In the face of a new, more divisive, political landscape, the public narrative around borders surfaces fears on all sides of the political spectrum. Yet for architect and theorist Teddy Cruz and political scientist Fonna Forman, border communities are opportunities for civic and political creativity, rather than criminalization. These sites, to which they refer as “geographies of conflict,” are the basis of three projects that present case studies for more expansive and inclusive ways of thinking of the relationships between the United States and its neighbors, and more broadly propose that citizenship is organized around shared values and common interests, and not on the action of an isolationist nation with a homogeneous identity.
Composed of videos, diagrams, maps, and visual narratives designed in collaboration with Studio Matthias Görlich, the exhibition presents The Political Equator (2011), a video and wall diagram that captures a collective border-crossing performance through a drainage pipe joining two marginalized neighborhoods along the border wall that divides an informal settlement in Mexico from a natural estuary in California. Produced for this exhibition, a series of posters synthesize their work on the Cross-Border Citizenship Culture Survey (2011-ongoing), the result of a collaboration with Antanas Mockus, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia; his think tank, Corpovisionarios; and city officials in San Diego and Tijuana. Also featured is The Medellín Diagram (2012-ongoing), which presents a new political and civic model for creating public spaces that facilitate cultural, political, and knowledge exchange based on the example of the city of Medellín and its extraordinary social and urban transformation.
Photo: courtesy of Cruz and Forman
Regular Admission: $10
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FREE for same-day film or performance ticket holders, children 5 and under, and military service members with ID.
First Tuesdays of the month: Free admission.
FREE for YBCA Members at all levels*.
YBCA Members enjoy unlimited free admission to gallery exhibitions*.
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*Number of tickets per visit based on membership level.
Teddy Cruz is a Professor of Public Culture and Urbanization in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of California, San Diego. He is known internationally for his urban research on the Tijuana/San Diego border, advancing border neighborhoods as sites of cultural production from which to rethink urban policy, affordable housing, and public space. Recipient of the Rome Prize in Architecture in 1991, his honors include representing the US in the 2008 Venice Architecture Biennale, the Ford Foundation Visionaries Award in 2011, and the 2013 Architecture Award from the US Academy of Arts and Letters.
Fonna Forman is a Professor of Political Theory and Founding Director of the Center on Global Justice at the University of California, San Diego. A theorist of ethics and public culture, her work focuses on human rights at the urban scale, climate justice in cities, and equitable urbanization in the global south. She has also written extensively on recuperating the public and social dimensions of modern economic theory. She serves as Vice-Chair of the University of California Climate Solutions Group, and on the Global Citizenship Commission (advising UN policy on human rights).
Cruz & Forman direct the UCSD Cross-Border Initiative, and are principals in Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman, a research-based political and architectural practice in San Diego. Their work emphasizes urban conflict and informality as sites of intervention for rethinking public policy and civic infrastructure, with a special emphasis on Latin American cities. From 2012-13 they served as special advisers on Civic and Urban Initiatives for the City of San Diego and led the development of its Civic Innovation Lab.
6-7 PM Artist Conversation, Screening Room
7-9 PM Reception, Youth Arts Lounge
On March 10, celebrate the opening of Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman’s Visualizing Citizenship: Seeking a New Public Imagination with a reception and artist conversation. At 6 PM, architect Teddy Cruz and political scientist Fonna Forman will be joined by Director of Visual Arts, Lucía Sanromán, on a discussion of their research of a renewed public imagination in the Trump era.
Both segments free with gallery admission. Seating at the artist conversation is first come, first served so don’t miss out!
Visualizing Citizenship: Seeking a New Public Imagination is part of The City Initiative, a series of case studies by architects, designers, planners, and artists creating provocative work in the urban environment. It is curated by Lucía Sanromán, Director of Visual Arts, and organized by Martin Strickland, Exhibitions Associate.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.
YBCA Programs in 16-17 are made possible in part by: The James Irvine Foundation
Additional Funding for YBCA Programs 16-17: National Endowment for the Arts, Adobe, Abundance Foundation, Gaia Fund, Grosvenor, and Members of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
YBCA Exhibitions 2016–2017 are made possible, in part, by: Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan, Meridee Moore and Kevin King, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and The Creative Ventures Council.
Free First Tuesdays underwritten by: Directors Forum Members. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.