“Cross the Border: An Art Action” humanizes a conflicted border

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 “Cross the Border: An Art Action” humanizes a conflicted border
Artist Susan Harbage Page invites others to join her in a day of border crossings
Susan Harbage Page invites you to “Cross the Border” with her this Saturday, December 19 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m at the Gateway International Bridge between Brownsville, TX and Matamoros, Mexico. In this group art action, Harbage Page, a visual artist based in Chapel Hill, NC, intends to see how many times she can cross the border in an eight-hour period.
“I’m asking why information, technology, goods, and culture can pass freely over international borders, but bodies can’t. Why my privileged white body has permission to cross this border while other bodies don’t,” Harbage Page says. “Why must thousands of people annually put their bodies at great risk to walk the same path I walk easily, in an attempt to be safe, provide for their families, and simply belong?”
Since 2007, Harbage Page has made annual pilgrimages to the Rio Grande Valley and Brownsville, TX to work on her U.S.–Mexico Border Project. As she walks, bikes, and canoes along the border, the project has developed in three movements: photographs of the changing landscape, an archive containing over 1,000 objects left behind on the border by people migrating north, and a series of yearly site-specific performances ranging from a temporary floating bridge made from children’s inner tubes (2009) between Brownsville and Matamoros, to a protest—laying down in the middle of the bridge between Nuevo Progresso and Progresso (2012) in an attempt to humanize the border, a line most U.S. citizens think of as a straight black line on a map.
By joining Harbage Page during a day of border crossings, people can help make the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo a place where cultures can meet in personal exchange, rather than exist in separation.
This project is sponsored by Galeria 409of Brownsville, TX.
For more information, visit susanharbagepage.blogspot.com or contact Susan Harbage Page at susanharbagepage@gmail.com or 919-260-1602.
Susan Harbage Page is a visual artist with a background in photography and site-specific installation. Her work explores immigration, race, gender, and nation. For almost ten years she has been making annual pilgrimages to the U.S.–Mexico Border to photograph the objects left behind by immigrants as they enter the United States. Her work is currently on view at the Baltimore Museum of Art in the exhibition “Imagining Home.”  Harbage Page has exhibited nationally and internationally in Bulgaria, France, Italy, Germany, Israel, the United States, and China. Amongst Page’s numerous awards are fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council, the Camargo Foundation, and funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation and the Fulbright Program.
Susan Harbage Page is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received the Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholar Award UNC (2014) and a fellowship from the Institute for the Arts and Humanities UNC (2015).
She received her B.M. and M.M. (saxophone performance) from Michigan State University and an M.F.A. (photography) from the San Francisco Art Institute as well as a Certificate of Knowledge of the Italian Language from the University for Foreigners in Perugia, Italy.

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