Contemporary Art from Tijuana
Sara Griffin '09
Advisor: Professor Pamela Fletcher
Yearlong Honors Project
Fall 2008-Spring 2009
During the 08-09 academic year, Sara Griffin, an Art History/Visual Art Interdisciplinary major, worked with Professor Pamela Fletcher on an honors project focused on contemporary art from Tijuana. Combining long-standing interests in contemporary art, Mexico, and U.S.-Mexico relations, Sara began research on her topic in the spring of her junior year upon returning from a semester abroad in Mérida, Mexico.
Following a summer visit to Tijuana and inspired by a lack of scholarly treatment of the field, she resolved to devote her project to the development of a theoretical framework of interpretation. The framework she developed, taking into account the city’s history, culture, present conditions, and the current theoretical issues facing the interpretation of contemporary tijuanense artistic production, centered on a reading of the art as defined by a state of fission: fragmentation, inequality, and confusion. With this framework, Sara aimed to re-introduce a sense of place and individual experience into works that had been understood within a discourse of a universal, postmodern condition. Sara received a grant from the Roberts Fund, which allowed her to travel to Los Angeles, San Diego, and Tijuana over winter break of her senior year, meeting with some of the most important artists and thinkers of the field.