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August 23, 2022

Acquisition: Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo Collaboration Explores US-Mexico Border

Richard Misrach, "Wall, Playas de Tijuana (Boot and El Dr. Jivago), California"

Richard Misrach
Wall, Playas de Tijuana (Boot and El Dr. Jivago), California, 2013, printed 2021
inkjet print
framed: 151.13 x 201.14 cm (59 1/2 x 79 3/16 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Gift of Richard Misrach
2021.91.18
Photo credit: © Richard Misrach, (2013)

Between 2011 and 2014 photographer Richard Misrach (b. 1949) and experimental composer and sculptor Guillermo Galindo (b. 1960) collaborated on a project that examines the urgent political and social issues surrounding the United States–Mexico border and their human impact. The artists have given the National Gallery its first intermedia work addressing our southern border. The gift consists of 18 inkjet prints of varying size—all drawn from Misrach’s ongoing Border Cantos series; and Galindo’s Zapatello (2014), made from objects abandoned on the border and inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s design for a hammering machine (martello).

Since 2004, Misrach has photographed the 2,000-mile-long border between the United States and Mexico, recording both the wall that intermittently separates the two countries and the artifacts that migrants and federal agents have left behind. Beginning in 2011, he sent Galindo artifacts found at the border, including children’s backpacks, castoff clothing, shooting targets, and Border Patrol drag tires (used to smooth the sandy terrain and thus detect fresh footprints made by migrants crossing it). Inspired by musical traditions from around the world, Galindo transformed these abandoned objects into musical instruments and composed original scores for them.

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