Three works in the Haudenschild Collection were loaned to the Museo Universitario Arte Contemporaneo (MUAC) at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City for the exhibition Wandering Position: Selections from the inSite Archive opening in 2010. The three works were Yukinori Yanagi‘s Proposal for “Wandering Position” (1994), Silvia Gruner‘s Untitled (La Mitad del Camino) (1994), and Krzysztof Wodiczko‘s Tijuana Projection: Centro Cultural Tijuana (2001). Curated by Donna Conwell, an associate curator for inSite_05, the opening of the exhibition coincides with the donation of a copy of the inSite Archive to the University. The installation of the exhibition and the archive will inaugurate Arkeia – a new space at the museum designed by Tijuana-based architect Giacomo Castagnola for the presentation of archival artistic material.
For more then seventeen years inSite has commissioned and facilitated place-based art practices at the US-Mexico border of San Diego-Tijuana. In 2006, inSite launched a new curatorial initiative designed to make this rich history more accessible, entitled the inSite Archive. Over a three-year period organizers systematically compiled and cataloged ephemera and documentation charting the development and realization of over one hundred art works in the public sphere. These works, which frequently developed out of extended artist residencies in the region, include monumental sculpture, site-specific installation, performance, actions, interventions and participatory engagements.
The early 1990s through to the 2000s is an especially compelling period in the evolution of place-based art practices. This is a period when the concept of site as a fixed location shifted as artists began to re-imagine place as a fluid, evolving entity produced by social, economic and cultural processes. Likewise, artists challenged the notion of the public as audience by engaging various constituencies as active co-producers of their work. A new model of place-based art practice emerged that, while context specific, is also dispersed across place and time. Often performative, this work frequently includes a temporary event, situation or unfolding process. While responsive to site, it also disrupts the idea of place as an immutable concept. A sense of location is re-conceptualized as a wandering position – always in the process of becoming and extending beyond temporal and geographical boundaries.
This uniquely time-based practice erases the traditional divide between the archive and the artwork. Since it is non-object based, archival material is the primary means through which the work continues to communicate beyond its original context. What was once durational gains symbolic status as it circulates as texts, photography, video, artifacts, and artist notes and sketches in the art economy.
Highlights of this work from the inSite Archive are organized here according to the following five groupings: circulating objects, public address, co-producing event experiences, performance interventions and recording trajectories. -Donna Conwell, curator