- Location: La Jolla Museum of Art, San Diego, CA (6/90 – 8/90); M.I.T. List Visual Art Center Cambridge, MA (10/90 – 11/90)
- Client: La Jolla Museum of Art & M.I.T. List Visual Art Center
- Size: 16′ x 16′ x 8′
- Materials: Recycled plastic containers, wood, copper pipes, rose heads, sponges, headlights, water, timer, sound
- Budget: $2,000
- Artist: Mags Harries
Border Garden was created to bring recognition to San Diego’s reliance on migrant Mexican workers. San Diego depends on Mexican workers for its service industry, gardeners, and cleaners. This migrant community lives in stark contrast to their employers. Border Garden pays homage to the vernacular architecture created by illegal immigrants who by necessity live in the canyons surrounding San Diego. At the same time, the installation contrastingly references formal English gardens and the many Mexicans gardeners.
Water and Labor
The structure is made entirely of recycled materials and plastic containers that once held household cleaning products (all found in La Jolla). The scent of these products filled the space. These materials reference the role of migrant Mexican women as cleaners as well as the means by which migrant workers carry water to their shanty communities. The thirsty sponge garden refers to the critical issues of water conservation and recycling, which are particularly acute in San Diego County.