Galeria de la Raza
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Illegal Entry
4/22/2006 - 6/24/2006
Illegal Entry aimed at manifesting the multifaceted perspectives, artwork, and documentation of a group of artists led by Robin Lasser, Professor of Photography at San José State University, in October 2005, to investigate issues surrounding the San Diego County/Tijuana border. Participating Artists: Consuelo Jimenez-Underwood, Robin Lasser, Valerie Mendoza, Adrienne Pao, and Nora Raggio.
  Galería Exhibitions Mind Maps: The ReGeneration Anniversary Show <2006>
Illegal Entry <2006>
Digital Mural Project: Dulce Pinzón <2006>
Digital Mural Project: Julio Morales & William Scott <2006>
Encounters: The YPM's Greatest Hits <2006>
African by Legacy, Mexican by Birth <2006>
Digital Mural Project: Branca Nitzsche <2006>
Graphic Witness: Works by Jesus Barraza & Juan R. Fuentes <2006>
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Illegal Entry is one of Galería's most timely and politically charged exhibitions since proposed new legislation around immigration spilled over into the nations’ streets this past March. Illegal Entry is a multidisciplinary project based on the experience of five artists —Consuelo Jimenez-Underwood, Valerie Mendoza, Adrienne Pau, Nora Raggio, and Robin Lasser— into the San Diego/Tijuana region in October of 2005. The exhibition features the artists’ multifaceted perspectives, artwork, and documentation investigating issues surrounding the Mexico/U.S. border. As the country discusses standards of territorial and economic security, this exhibition attempts to bridge pieces of the debate over the border onto the Galería’s walls.

Illegal Entry weaves a national story of fear and displacement into material symbols that reveal the price of control and patrol of the free passage of human beings. The show’s theme is of even greater relevance to Northern California where prosperous cities rely on the hardworking people who have helped make California the seventh strongest economy in the world. Illegal Entry makes its debut at a time when the border no longer defends or protects the U.S. against the large scale displacement of industries a result of current economic policies. Borders and boundaries often create cultural divisions, power struggles, sanctioned and unsanctioned transactions, legal and illegal trades, profit motives, greed, and imbalances. Humans and the goods and services they produce are controlled because of their supposed marked differences —whether these are cultural, ethnic, political or economic. Ultimately, this control gives rise to a fatal cycle of victims and vigilantes.

Thousands have died trying to cross the border into the U.S. and the situation has been aggravated by the mandates of Homeland Security since 9/11. The current debate over the 1,952 miles of the U.S. Mexico border reignites centuries-old disputes around citizenship, democracy and nationalism. Illegal Entry questions basic assumptions about who controls the border and who protects whom from what? There are no simple answers, however, the stakes involve the lives of millions of people who are currently the backbone of the U.S.-driven mandate to bring democracy and prosperity to the world.