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Artist Ana Teresa Fernández

Ana Teresa Fernández (Photo: Aaron Cain, WFIU)

Ana Teresa Fernández is a painter, videographer, sculptor, and performance artist. Originally from Mexico, Ana and her family moved to San Diego, California in 1991. She earned her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute In the early 2000s, and now lives and works in the Bay Area.

Since 2014, close to 120,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Central Mediterranean departing from Libya, Tunisia or Egypt. To date, approximately 13 thousand migrants have been recorded as killed or missing on this border.

Ana Teresa Fernández created her latest exhibition, Of Bodies and Borders, to refocus attention on the plight of those migrants through multiple artistic media.

Most of the works in the exhibition are derived from Fernández’s own performance in the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. She was filmed while submerged, weighted down with 13-pound weights, wearing a black dress and heels, and wrestling with a bed sheet for hours. Through the resulting video, paintings, photographs and drawings, Fernández seeks to champion those she considers invisible, unrecognized, undervalued, and in danger of sinking into oblivion.

“Of Bodies and Borders” was recently featured at the Grunwald Gallery, and Ana Teresa Fernández visited the IU campus to give a lecture and conduct workshops as part of Mexico Remixed: A Global Arts and Humanities Festival, sponsored by Indiana University’s Arts & Humanities Council.

While she was here, Fernández joined IU Assistant Professor of Photography Elizabeth Claffey for a conversation in the WFIU studios.

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