A new art installation in North Texas uses virtual reality technology to provide insight into the harrowing experience of migrants at the border. Using testimonials from real Mexicans and Central Americans who have made the dangerous journey, this art experience at Dallas’ Fark Park is powerful, moving, and deeply moving.
From Oscar-winning Mexican director Alejandro Iñárritu, Carny y Arena (Virtually Present, Physically Invisible) recently opened in Fair Park through the collaboration of the Nasher Sculpture Center and the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The exhibit premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, becoming the first virtual reality experience selected for the prestigious festival.
“During the many years that this project has grown in my mind, I have had the privilege of meeting and interviewing many Mexican and Central American refugees,” Iñárritu said in a press release. declaration. “Their life stories haunted me, so I invited some of them to collaborate with me on the project.”
Carny and Arena was shown in several cities around the world before being customized for touring. Located in Fair Park, Carny and Arena will remain visible until April 18. Exhibit viewers begin in front of an actual piece of the border wall before being directed to rooms where they are asked to follow certain protocols before virtual reality technology is implemented.
The actual virtual reality simulation is only a few minutes long, but it is deeply frightening and disorienting. The fact that Iñárritu incorporated the real experiences of migrants on the border is also heartbreaking.
After the simulation, viewers can go to an adjacent room where there are testimonies from these same refugees. Tickets for Carne y Arena can be found here.