David Cotterrell’s ‘A Yard for Your Thoughts [The Last Huzzah of British Gunboat Diplomacy]’ at the Side Effects exhibition – 16.06.21 – 30.09.21

David Cotterrell has produced a new work in collaboration with Tom Valentine (aka Thomas Vann Altheimer) for the exhibition, Side Effects // Efectos Secundarios, Volume IV.

Steppling Art Gallery at SDSU-IV, in collaboration with I21 Espacio de Proyectos, Mexicali is pleased to present the composite film, A Yard for Your Thoughts [The Last Huzzah of British Gunboat Diplomacy] by David and Thomas under their moniker, The Big Bend Film Collective.

Side Effects / Efectos secundarios is a series of exhibitions that is born out of a collaboration between I21 espacio de proyectos in Mexicali, Mexico and Steppling Gallery at San Diego State University in Calexico, CA. Like many others, I21 and Steppling Gallery felt the need to continue doing programming while their brick-and-mortar locations remain closed due to the pandemic, and they decided to join forces to create this binational effort. The series Side Effects / Efectos secundarios consists of four exhibitions each with the subtitles Volume I, II, III and IV and invites artists from both sides of the U.S./Mexico border to participate with work to be presented on this digital platform.

Fifteen months after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, Side Effects launches Volume IV, the final in the series of exhibitions that began in September 2020 in response to Covid. As restrictions ease and places start to reopen, both in countries that increasingly have Covid under control as well as in some where the coronavirus still remains a threat, this concluding exhibition recapitulates in the form of snippets what many of us experienced in the past year’s events. It asks one to think about how we’ll move forward, and to assess and reflect on what we just lived through, endured and lost.

In the video “A Yard for your Thoughts [The Last Huzzah of British Gunboat Diplomacy]” by the Big Bend Film Collective, the bottom half of a split-screen never shows people, but in most frames, we see portions of bridges, buildings and other man-made structures – those of the city of London. And in the top half of the screen, a more deserted and arid landscape is presented to us, but a lonely character appears here and there among nature – that of Baja. During the pandemic, those few that had the means left big cities and relocated to rural areas, a privileged mobility that has occurred throughout history, nationally and trans-nationally, just as when Europeans journeyed to America, for among other more powerful reasons, to escape disease.


Gallery Venue: Steppling Art Gallery, SDSU-IV, 720 Heber Ave., Calexico, CA 92231

Online Exhibition: https://i21-steppling.com/

Curated By: Luis G. Hernandez and Adrian Pereda Vidal

Supported By: Mexicali Biennial