Since the 1970s, Richard Misrach has photographed the dynamic landscape of the American West through an environmentally aware and politically astute lens. His visually seductive, large-scale color vistas powerfully document the devastating ecological effects of human intervention, industrial development, nuclear testing and petrochemical pollution on the natural world. Over the last decade, Misrach's photographic focus has been the increasingly militarized 1,969-mile border between the United States and Mexico: sections of the Wall installed in varying lengths and materials, Border Patrol shooting ranges, Effigies or scarecrow-like figures fashioned by anonymous makers out of tattered clothing and dry agave stalks, tire drags used to monitor migrant traffic in desert sand, personal artifacts left behind from migrants' journeys and glimpses of everyday life from both sides of the border.
Guillermo Galindo has also responded to the recent wave of border militarization through the music he composes. Inspired by avant-garde and indigenous musical traditions from around the world, he transforms the physical detritus of the borderlands — water bottles, backpacks, discarded clothing, Border Patrol flashlights and drag tires, spent shotgun shells, ladders, children’s toys, animal skeletons and sections of the Border Wall itself — into unique instruments from which original scores are composed. It is Galindo's hope that these sound-generating, kinetic sculptures enable the invisible victims of immigration to speak through their cast-off personal belongings.
Border Cantos is a multi-sensory meditation on the unseen realities of immigration today. Through the disembodied evidence of immigrants’ travels, Misrach and Galindo immerse viewers in an audiovisual experience of the U.S.-Mexico border that bears witness to the thousands who cross it, often tragically, each year. As homeland security, immigration reform and continental economics occupy the forefront of national news, their work brings a poetic, humanitarian perspective to controversial concerns that could not be more timely or prescient. Border Cantos encourages viewers to reflect on what they see and hear and ultimately develop their own more fully informed conclusions on the subject of immigration.
Richard Misrach (b, 1949, Los Angeles) is one of the most influential photographers of his generation. His work is held by major institutions, including Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. He is the recipient of four National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Kulturpreis for Lifetime Achievement in Photography. Monographs of Misrach’s work include Violent Legacies (1992), On the Beach (2007), Destroy This Memory (2010), Petrochemical America (with Kate Orff, 2012), Golden Gate (2012) and The Mysterious Opacity of Other Beings (2015).
Guillermo Galindo (b. Mexico City) is an experimental composer whose interpretations of musical form and notation, time perception, sonic archetypes and sound-generating devices span a wide spectrum of artistic works performed and shown at major festivals, concert halls and art exhibitions throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia. His orchestral compositions include two symphonies: Ome Acatl, premiered in Mexico City by the Orquesta Filarmoónica de la UNAM (OFUNAM, 1997) and Trade Routes (2006), commissioned and premiered by the Oakland East Bay Symphony orchestra and chorus. His operas include two major works: Califas 2000, with text and performance by MacArthur Fellow Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Decreation/Fight Cherries, with text by MacArthur Fellow poet Anne Carson.
This exhibition is made possible with the support of the Aperture Foundation, JetBlue, Maquette Fine Art Services and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.
Richard Misrach, El muro, al este de Nogales, Arizona (Wall east of Nogales, Arizona), 2015, pigment print mounted to Dibond, 60" x 79- 1/8" (152.4 cm x 201 cm). © Richard Misrach, courtesy Pace Gallery and Pace/MacGill Gallery
Guillermo Galindo, Piñata de cartuchos (Shell Piñata), 2014, sheet metal, Border Patrol shot gun shell castings, 17" x 30" x 30" (43.2 cm x 76.2 cm x 76.2 cm). © Guillermo Galindo, courtesy Pace Gallery and Pace/MacGill Gallery
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