Amon Carter Museum of American Art
A friend of mine and I went to the Amon Carter Museum of Art while the Border Cantos Exhibit was running. It is a sad, yet telling exhibit of music and photography of the border between Mexico and the United States of America. It really makes one stop and think about the world outside of their own “bubble”. Having been to the Big Bend region of Texas along the Rio Grande, it had more meaning to me than if I had never been out that way. The images by Richard Misrach reminded me of my time out there, and awakened my senses to a people hurting and in desperate need.
The simpleness of the subjects in the images made them even more ghostly. Items long since abandoned, decaying, much like the people who left them behind. They tell a chilling story of a flight to a better life. Unfortunately, some do not always make it. Many are left nameless in the desert. Others are taken back, only to try again.
Items found discarded in the desert are collected and formed to play the story of the peoples that left them behind. Artist-Musician Guillermo Galindo collects, creates and composes these songs in dissonance creating a feeling that you are among the chaos and clamor yourself. His instruments are a work of art in and of themselves without ever having played a note. While looking at them, you hear his compositions and it helps to create a sense of place and time.
One of the more interesting things about this exhibit is its interactive participation: Things to Consider. This really helps connect the viewer to the message of the art pieces as one sits and thinks about writing the history of an object in an image. I chose the blanket. I then read what other people had written. There were a lot of people who chose the Teddy Bear. That was a more emotional piece as it represents the innocents of childhood and dependence on adults.
If you get the chance to see either artist work in this exhibit, you will be left with a haunting sense of human preservation. It leaves one bewildered and full of emotion, those of sorrow, anger, and helplessness. Thoughts of “what if this happens to me or a loved one” will fill your mind. Be grateful for your position to view this and experience it through the eyes or artist and not first hand. Remember those who do as you walk and take in the exhibit.
To learn more about this exhibit at the Amon Carter Museum, visit: http://www.cartermuseum.org/exhibitions/border-cantos-richard-misrach-guillermo-galindo