Javier Téllez was born in Valencia, Venezuela, in 1969. He studied at Arturo Michelena School of Fine Arts, Venezuela. The son of psychiatrists, Téllez developed a close affinity to institutionalised patients with mental illnesses. This is reflected in his art, which through installation, film, and video addresses the general public’s understanding of such marginalised populations. His work questions the meaning of sanity by characterizing it as an axis rather than a fixed state.
One Flew over the Void (Bala perdida) documents a parade organized by Javier Téllez in Las Playas, on the border of Tijuana and San Diego. The event featured ordinary citizens, visitors to InSITE (the periodic exhibition for which the work was produced), and patients from a local psychiatric hospital (the latter disguised behind animal masks and wielding signs protesting various injustices). The performance ends with a human canonball being shot over the border into the United States, a defiant act that transgresses social and political boundaries literally and figuratively, underscoring the hardships faced by the millions of Mexican and Central American workers who cross the border illegally every year in search of a better life.