Althea Thauberger


InSite 05

Jan Tulmir
Art Forum XLIV No. 3 | 2005

InSite_05 organizers substantially expanded the usual program of newly commissioned public works and performances, collectively dubbed “Interventions,” which here runs a gamut from Thomas Glassford and José Parral’s relatively straightforward, civically minded landscaping of a stretch of choice beachfront land (La esquina/ Jardines de playas de Tijuana [The Corner/Gardens on the Beaches of Tijuana]) to Javier Téllez’s broadly satirical depiction of the border jumper as a human cannonball (One Flew Over the Void [Bala perdida]).

A standout was the live, achingly poetic recital that Althea Thauberger coaxed from a choir of soldiers’ wives left behind at a local army base (Murphy Canyon Choir). This piece, collaboratively written and then formalized through months of rehearsal with a vocal coach, spoke to the crossing of a border miles away from this one—Iraq’s—in intensely personal and implicated language. Empathy—in such short supply on any military front and forum of political debate—was here resuscitated via intimate interpersonal exchange.