Border Cantos I Sonic Border is a unique collaboration between American photographer Richard Misrach and Mexican American sculptor/composer Guillermo Galindo. Photographer Richard Misrach and composer/artist Guillermo Galindo began collaborating in 2011, after both artists had created bodies of work inspired by the Mexican-American border region and its human impact.
Misrach’s large-scale photographs beautifully capture the various types of landscapes, textures, and experiences found across the almost 2,000-mile dividing line. But, by showing moments of disruption on the land, they also introduce a complicated look at policing the boundary. Galindo’s installation Sonic Border is an original score for eight instruments, created out of discarded objects found and collected at the border. The composition embraces the pre-Columbian belief that there was an intimate connection between an instrument and the material from which it was made, with no separation between spiritual and physical worlds. Based on the Mesoamerican “Venus calendar,” Sonic Border plays for a total of 260 minutes and is separated into 13 cycles of 20 minutes. Within these cycles, the instruments play in small groups of two or more, or all together as an orchestra.
When experienced as a whole, the images, instruments, and emanating sounds create an immersive space in which to look, listen, and learn about the complicated issues surrounding the Mexican-American border. While the artists do not seek to provide the solution, they do provide insight into a place into which most people have never ventured and create a poignant connection that draws on our humanity.
An opportunity for visitors to leave their thoughts and impressions of Border Cantos I Sonic Border will be incorporated into the exhibition, and public programming will provide a space for meaningful community dialogue.
Border Cantos I Sonic Border is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Support provided by Art Bridges.