Pasatiempo - - RANDOM ACTS - Paul Wei­de­man

IN photographer Richard Mis­rach’s 13 years of tak­ing pic­tures along the United States-Mex­ico bor­der, he has seen all kinds of land­scapes and fences and de­tri­tus. “The ar­ti­facts you see have a lot of dif­fer­ent ex­pla­na­tions,” he said by phone from his home in Cal­i­for­nia’s Berke­ley Hills. “Ba­si­cally peo­ple have walked a long way from Cen­tral Amer­ica and Mex­ico, and their clothes are filthy, and they of­ten dump them af­ter they’re across the bor­der, be­cause they bring fresh clothes with them. Also the Bor­der Pa­trol has been known to make peo­ple dump what­ever they have when they find them. You see back­packs and ten­nis shoes, re­li­gious icons and Bi­bles, and all kinds of things strewn along the bor­der.”

In the 2016 book Bor­der Cantos (and an ac­com­pa­ny­ing ex­hi­bi­tion that opens at Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York, on June 28 and hangs through Aug. 18), Mis­rach’s pho­tos are pre­sented along­side in­stru­ments cre­ated from bor­der ar­ti­facts by Cal­i­for­nia ex­per­i­men­tal com­poser Guillermo Galindo. His Te­clata “key­board” has a base made of Bor­der Pa­trol am­mu­ni­tion boxes and fin­ger-op­er­ated keys that ac­ti­vate found ob­jects: empty bot­tles, cans, and a plas­tic cup. Án­gel ex­ter­mi­nador (Ex­ter­mi­nat­ing An­gel) is a gong made from a twisted sec­tion of steel bor­der wall sus­pended from a wooden frame. Galindo made two in­stru­ments from a bi­cy­cle that re­port­edly was run over by the Bor­der Pa­trol to sab­o­tage its use for trans­porta­tion.

“Com­bin­ing Richard’s im­ages with my sounds pro­vides in­for­ma­tion of a place or a cir­cum­stance where ev­ery­thing is pos­si­ble, even death,”

Te­clata, 2014, op­po­site page, Wall, No­gales, Ari­zona, 2013; all im­ages from Bor­der Cantos, Aper­ture, 2016, © Richard Mis­rach; cour­tesy Fraenkel Gallery, Pace/MacGill Gallery, and Marc Sel­wyn Fine Art

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