Tomas Van Houtryve's Divided Video Installation Wins First Place, Producer’s Choice Award From CENTER

Artist Statement:
Divided
2018 (2m50s)
Since Baja and Alta California were divided by the seizure of Mexican land by the United States military in 1848, a political boundary has jutted into the Pacific Ocean. Over the years, the border has been reinforced from a simple line to a fence to steel barrier. This single-channel video installation focuses on the timeless repetition of lines of waves as they crash perpendicular into the barrier. The collision of waves is mesmerizing, and we notice unified lines of waves that are divided in two.

Juror’s Statement:

“This work took a very simple concept, a border wall between two countries, and visually infused it with all the complexities of the contemporary American debate. The ‘moving picture’ that tells this story, does so in a leisurely way, but clearly one that was thought out and executed with the utmost care and attention to detail. The ‘reveal’, at the end, lingers in your mind. This piece is not overly ambitious, but the artist’s ambition is right-sized to the storytelling and to the ability to tell it with a level of perfection that makes the story of Alta and Baja all the more relevant and impactful to the viewer.” — Keith Jenkins, Director of Visual Journalism, NPR

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