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Lost items on US-Mexico border become art

Photo by Richard Misrach courtesy of San Jose Museum of Art/Resized and cropped.
Border Patrol Target Range, Boca Chica Highway, Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge, Texas, 2013

Two Oakland artists are taking an innovative look at the US-Mexico border conflict in Border Cantos, an exhibition now on display at The San Jose Museum of Art.


Landscape photographer Richard Misrach and experimental composer Guillermo Galindo began collaborating on the show four years ago, after a chance meeting at San Francisco’s Pop-Up Magazine. They explore border issues by focusing on lonely objects found abandoned in the border zone: a migrant’s cast-off shoe or an empty food tin, rolled across the sand by the wind.


Simple objects take on iconic meaning in the photos. For the music, Galindo uses items dropped in the sand to build unconventional instruments. Made from discarded tires, cans or a metal ladder, these musical sculptures are inspired by indigenous traditions from around the globe. 


Click the audio player above to listen to the story. 

Border Cantos will be up at the San Jose Museum of Art through July 2016.