Museum’s newest installation highlights border tensions

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – The Albuquerque Museum’s newest art installation is designed to make a big statement.

An approximately 8,000-pound painted and rusted steel sculpture called “Border Crossing” was placed outside the museum Friday using a crane.

Chiricahua Apache artist Bob Haozous said the work showing two views of the border is an extension of the national dialogue on border tensions. One side shows a New Mexican desert landscape with clouds; the other is “ornamented with symbols of refugee-generating conflict and economies of war.” Barbed wire lines the outside of the sculpture.

“It exposes racism and environmental racism issues very clearly,” he stated. “I drew a piece that shows the American viewpoint. It’s kind of like rose-colored glasses. And the other side is the reality of this country- of this world. The gate’s locked and there’s no way to get over here because we’re defending our entitlement.”

“You’ll notice with the sculpture as you walk up on one side, it’s a very New Mexican landscape or environment, but it’s also a cartoon- kind of an illusion,” Assistant Curator of Art, Titus O’Brien, added. “And then as you walk around the other side, you see a much more ominous and kind of complex commentary. It’s not so clear which side of the border is which.”

It’s part of a bigger installation opening inside the museum on Jan. 13 called “The U.S.-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination and Possibility,” featuring artists using the border area as their inspiration.

“The exhibition really features artists who are working along the border and really working with both the area and people of the border lands as their material and the inspiration for their work,” O’Brien said.

The installation runs through April 15.

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