Selections from the series /Third Space/ by Whitney Stolich
January 29 - March 12, 2006
Opening Reception January 29, 2-4 PM
/Third Space/ consists of sixteen images, 30 feet x 78 inches, and are color type C prints. These images were taken along the 2,000-mile United States and Mexico border. There is one image for every twin border town with in the series. The term "twin" is commonly used to reference border towns where one can cross back and forth entering either Mexico or the United States. Each single image incorporates two images, which diffuse into one incorporating both sides of each "twin" border city.
My last series, /Landuse/, investigated urbanization concentrating on reality, yet also imagination. Third Space focuses on urbanization again, but this time points at a very real phenomenon: interdependent cultures that have become so closely linked that their urban spatial qualities have diffused together. The US/Mexico border is the largest and most active border in the world. More than 300,000 people cross daily that are legal, and many more who are not. Another monumental change that has caused interdependence to the border cities came with NAFTA when US owned plants were be built on both sides. This twin plant system has caused a surge of workers to migrate to the northern border cities.
It is not my intention to adjudicate the multiplicity of conflicting perceptions of the border with this work. Instead, the border is seen as a "third space" between two contiguous nations. It is a place of inter-connection, interdependence, globalism, and transnationalism. /Third Space/ depicts spatial qualities in detail, which inform the place of the border. There are distinctive patterns that form because of the transborder interdependence that are spatial, social, economic and cultural. Within both sides of the political boundary differences become blurred. /Third Space/ elicits complex ideas and notions by visualizing the border through work that underscores the dichotomies and paradoxes that illustrate the urbanization diffusion and interconnection of the border cities. For example in image #7 a hydroelectric plant is shown which is in Eagle pass, Texas. The other part of the image shows a sub station in Piedras Negras, Mexico. These cites often have voltage instability and feed electricity back and forth when either one needs help. This image exemplifies their connection and their need for shared resources. Image #14 shows two stucco middle class houses: one in Presidio Texas and the other in Ojinaga, Mexico. Here you can see both houses incorporate the same architectural styles with arches and ornate fences around the homes. Each is made from stucco and each is painted with bright colors. There is a front patio outside of both houses. Both of the homes are aligned next to dirt roads. There is very clear connection spatially and culturally within this image.
- Whitney Stolich
Born in Monterey, California Whitney Stolich spent her entire childhood on a fifty-acre horse ranch. Having lived in so much open space she questioned urban spaces and decided to immerse herself into one of the largest, Los Angeles, in 1993 to attend Loyola Marymount University. She chose to major in Urban Studies in an attempt to understand the choices that were made within cities and their surrounding areas. Four years after graduating from LMU with a B.A. she attended Otis College of Art and Design to further her studies. She obtained an M.F.A. in 2004.
Her work is primarily photographic. Stolich's body of work, /Landuse/, incorporates her intense interests in urbanism and at the same time implements them into a conceptual mode by taking real images of different types of land uses in Southern California, which make the viewer question whether these images are real or fiction. This work was shown at Supersonic in 2004 where Stolich received a special mention in a rave review by art critic Edward Goldman. Creative Artists Agency purchased a piece from Landuse for their private collection in 2005.
Since finishing /Landuse/ Stolich has been working on a new body of work called /Third Space/, which deals with complex urbanization issues along the 2,000-mile US/Mexico border. Third Space investigates the 16 twin border cities and their independent cultures, which Stolich says have become so closely linked their urban spatial qualities have fused together. It is not Stolich's intention to adjudicate the multiplicity of conflicting perceptions of the border with this work. Instead, Stolich sees the border as a "third space" between two contiguous nations. Stolich says that her passion for urban issues will keep her work on a continued path divulging into different land use and urban topics.
Whitney Stolich's website