Border Fandango

Artist Suzanne Thorpe recorded Border Fandango in 2017 at Friendship Park, a park that straddles the border between San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. The park has historically been a meeting place for those living in the two countries, but today the U.S. side is heavily guarded and open only a few hours a week. The wall at this border, once a simple barbed wire fence, is now a thick steel mesh that allows only the touching of fingertips. The effect of these changes has severely minimized the park’s connective function.

Thorpe visited a special annual event designed to increase connection: the Fandango at the Wall. Musicians came from far and wide to sing Mexican folk songs through the border wall, playing to the rhythms provided by Zapateado performers (a Latin American style of dancing performed on wooden platforms to amplify the sound). Thorpe’s field recording documents the sounds of her arrival at the park, as well as those of others arriving, warming up, and finally uniting in a long sonic exchange.  



Suzanne Thorpe, Border Fandango, 2017, Field recording, Courtesy of the artist.

Also on view


Picture Our Journey

The Rothko Room

Crossing the Border: Beneath the Blue Sky