Internalized Borders

“Internalized Borders”


Presidents Gallery at John Jay College
February 14 – April 13, 2018

Reception February 21, 2017

Symposium March 21, 2018

Curated by Maria De Los Angeles, Artist and Susan Noyes Platt, Ph.D., curator, critic


Tatiana Garmendia, Video still Border Crossing

The artists included for our exhibition “Internalized Borders” address identity and migration. This exhibition will be a visual conversation examining the various ways that language and legal systems construct otherness.


A border can be a physical wall (line) between territories restricting people from moving freely across it, a social construct articulated through language and belief systems, a psychological state, or a legal system that determines who is accepted and who is not. Humans define themselves in the context of groups framed by these borders. As borders are internalized, they modify who we are with categories such as race, gender, religion, ethnicity, and language. Ultimately a stereotyping belief system creates negative categories that manifest as racism, sexism, and classism. Borders can also erase or subjugate cultural identity either through the process of trying to assimilate or through colonizing processes.


Migration catalyzes those legal and social constructs, sometimes welcoming a migrant through a shared identity, but at other times making them an “other,” an invader to the group.


These systems of discrimination and manipulation of “otherness” are continuously normalized and renamed by our use of language and by legal systems. Art mirrors those borders. The artists in “Internalized Borders” reflect on these issues from many perspectives


Artists: Alva Mooses, Ricardo Gomez, Dina Burtsztyn, Edel Rodriguez, Joiri Minaya, Patricia Cazorla and Nancy Saleme, Francisco Donoso, Tatiana Garmendia, Maria de Los Angeles, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, Felipe Baeza, Shahrazad Changalvaee, Costanza Alarcon-Tennon, Deborah Faye Lawrence, Ryan Bonilla