Texas Tech University

Land Arts, Texas Tech Public Media Directors Premiere New Film at Museum of Modern Art

Glenys Young

February 16, 2017


"Through the Repellent Fence" follows the construction of outdoor artwork on the U.S.-Mexico border.


"Through the Repellent Fence: A Land Art Film," co-produced by Texas Tech Public Media, will make its world premiere at the Documentary Fortnight series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and was recently named an official selection for the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin.

Directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas, "Through the Repellent Fence" follows art collective Postcommodity as it strives to construct "Repellent Fence," a two-mile long outdoor artwork that straddles the U.S.-Mexico border. It features scenes with Chris Taylor, director of Texas Tech University's Land Arts of the American West program.

Sam Wainwright Douglas

"" Through the Repellent Fence' reveals the fierce beauty, inherent struggles and primary aspirations embodied within every human action to assert our place within the layered stories of Earth," Taylor said. "The role of Land Arts of the American West at Texas Tech in the film is to activate a rich context of historic and contemporary land art that opens to include industry, archeology and nature. At the university, the Land Arts field program attracts students to the College of Architecture from a wide range of disciplines to explore our own backyard as a place of teaching and research where we engage the landscape of the arid Southwest as a living laboratory."

Taylor said the university's involvement in the project started in 2011 when Douglas began working on a film about land art. Douglas traveled with the field program several times, capturing experiences of students in the field as well as their expanding conversation about earth works, ultimately focusing on "Repellent Fence" by the indigenous collective Postcommodity to put contemporary land art in a tribal context.


"In addition to scenes with our students interacting with historic earthworks, the success of the film hinges on its demonstration of the complexities that unfold as projects, stories and people operate within the landscapes," Taylor said. "The issues are never singular and much is gained from cultivating wide perspectives."

Paul Allen Hunton, director of Texas Tech Public Media, served as an executive producer on the film.

"It is an honor for Texas Tech Public Media to be a part of " Through the Repellent Fence' and to help shine a light on the great work of the Land Arts program here at Texas Tech University," Hunton said. "Seeing the film accepted on such prestigious platforms speaks to the great work that director Sam Wainwright Douglas and his team accomplished and the urgency of the message contained within the film."

The film will premiere at 4:30 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 18) and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (Feb. 19) at the Museum of Modern Art. SXSW is scheduled for March 10-19. The film's screening date and time have not yet been announced.

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