October 17, 2020
Online Exhibition Dates:
10/17/20 – 1/16/2020
On-site Exhibition to follow in Fall 2021
Border-Ball explores the meaning of the wall and how it impacts the human race psychologically, ethically and spiritually. In blog posts about the pilgrimage, Tauber asks probing questions about immigration, compassion, imprisonment and more.
Growing up, Tauber went to Fenway Park to watch baseball. He dreamed of playing professionally. Baseball, for him, stands for openness and a belief in a welcoming, diverse America. He hopes to encourage conversation and togetherness rather than division and separation.
Tauber began his pilgrimage at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California, and walked along the Border Wall before heading north two and a half miles to the Otay Mesa Detention Center. He travelled there and back again daily—a seven-mile journey that connects legal entry to the U.S. with the Border Wall and the Detention Center holding those who might be in the country without all legal permits. While walking, he declares, in English as well as some Spanish, an adaptation of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame:”
Walk with me along the border. Play catch with me in front of the wall. I don’t care what part of the world you’re from. Let’s root, root, root for teamwork. If we don’t find some, it’s a shame. For it’s one, two, three strikes, we’re out at the old ball game.
He also proclaims, as an adaptation of “The Star-Spangled Banner:”
Oh, say, can you see, our country’s gorgeous dream: an endless field of green, where everyone can live and play? Our star-spangled banner yet waves, over the land of immigrants and the home of us all!
Tauber wore a custom vintage baseball uniform and backpack in blue, white and red. Tossing a baseball as he walks along, the artist invites people who walk along with him to play catch.
The exhibition will be presented in two phases. The online exhibition presents the trailer of the 20 minute documentary of the project with information and still-images of Tauber’s journey. The first phase will also feature an artist talk and a limited premiere of the Border-Ball documentary. With the central component of the exhibition highlighting the personal stories of immigration, the online exhibition will feature an ongoing interactive link for visitors to the site to share their own stories on immigration.
The second phase of the exhibition will be the on-site installation of the Border-Ball project presenting a video series of interviews of people Tauber met while on his border walk. A collection of personal reflections and stories related to border and baseball, the interviews reflect the complexity of our relationships across demarcated boundaries. Presented as an installation project, Border-Ball will also comprise of photos and documentation of the 40-day pilgrimage along with an interactive piece where visitors are invited to play catch and add their own stories about baseball and the border.
Border-Ball was developed in part through Tauber’s interpretation of Tikkun Olam, a Kabbalistic mandate to do what we can to save the world. By framing his performance and documentation along the border as a pilgrimage, the artist raises the performative gesture to a meditative action of care and opens up the opportunity to share in conversation about the border rather than limit it to polemics.
Tauber was born in 1972 in Boston, Massachusetts, and comes from a long line of rabbis. His work focuses on generating conversation and facilitating change. Most recently, Tauber’s “The Sharing Project” movie was named Best International Documentary Film by the Vintage International Film Festival (Kolhapur, India) and Best International Documentary Short by the Lake City International Film Festival (Noida, India). He lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he is associate professor of art at Wake Forest University.
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