Fusing design with activism, Ronald Rael and Virginia San Fratello have spent more than a decade questioning the implications and contradictions of the border wall that divides the United States from Mexico. Structurally and conceptually, the artists undermine and dismantle the wall itself — a symbol of xenophobia and fear — through speculative explorations that promote social, economic and ecological reparations. Their inventive and poignant commentary is a protest against the wall, our most politically polarizing architectural feature, and a projection about its future. Offering new imaginaries, the exhibition features drawings, prints, models, videos and newly commissioned sculptural installations inspired by our region that serve as a reminder of how human beings can transcend the forces that seek to divide us.
“A Country is Not a House: Ronald Rael + Virginia San Fratello,” curated by ASU Art Museum curator Brittany Corrales, is supported by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts with major support from Falcon Designs. Sponsors include Elizabeth and Shane Ginsberg.
About the artists:
Professor Ronald Rael is the Eva Li Memorial Chair in Architecture in the Department of Architecture in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley.
Virginia San Fratello is professor and chair of the Department of Design at San José State University.
Learn more about Rael San Fratello’s work at rael-sanfratello.com.
Image credit: Rael San Fratello, “Cactus Wall,” 2013, inkjet print. Image courtesy of the artists.