12102018Mon
Last updateFri, 07 Dec 2018 11am

Timely exhibit recapitulates art installation that marked 1821 US-Mexico border

The chronicling of an artistic project, “DeLIMITations,” that should interest both U.S. and Mexican citizens during these times of troubled international relations is showing at the Museo de las Artes in Guadalajara.

pg5bIn 2018, the border is hardly a ho-hum topic and it was hot even in 2014, when Mexican-American artist Marcos Ramirez and Arizona photographer David Taylor undertook “DeLIMITations,” a travel project in which they physically placed 47 steel obelisks, each about as high as a tall man, that record the location of the Mexican-American border in 1821, not long before 55 percent of Mexico was ceded to the United States.

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“DeLIMITations” was funded by various museums and organizations and required many months of planning, construction, van travel and installation by the artists before completion. 

Much of the process has been recorded in the show, which recently arrived in Guadalajara after traveling to various cities, including Puerto Vallarta.

In the chronicles included in the small but engrossing exhibition (along with photographs of each of the 47 plaques in place as well as striking, explanatory maps and informative panels), the artists recount one of their more memorable implants, when, after considerable plotting of geographical coordinates, they placed the marker that is farthest from the current U.S.-Mexico border near a California highway sign welcoming visitors to Oregon. Ggeneral, sympathetic incredulity among passersby ensued. 

Even though the project was unauthorized by any landowners or custodians, the artists note that they received active hostility on only one occasion, although they often skedaddled quickly after installing their obelisks, fearing reaction from park rangers or other authorities.

The exhibit shows until April 8 at the University of Guadalajara Museo de las Artes (MUSA), Juárez 975, corner of Enrique Diaz de Leon, Guadalajara. Tel. (33) 3134-1664. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Mondays. No charge to enter.

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