The Cross-Bordered DeLIMITations Bridges An Era’s Divide

at Museo De La Artes, Guadalajara, Mexico
Reviewed by Nancy Kay Turner

“Delimitation means the act or process of fixing limits or boundaries of territorial constituencies in a country or province having a legislative body”

A timely and compelling installation at Museo De La Artes, Guadalajara, Mexico, entitled DeLIMITations by Mexican artist Marcus Ramirez ERRE and American artist David Taylor, examines and documents through stills, a documentary film, large-scale graphics, a solid-steel obelisk and historical research presented as wall text, the original border between the United States and Mexico as determined by the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1821. Their historical, political and cultural piece sets about to establish a border that was never physically marked by placing 47 steel obelisks along the 2400 mile border that never was. The treaty was rescinded 27 years later, after the Mexican-American War of 1846-8, when Mexico ceded 55% of its land to the United States in a land grab disguised as a war. Ulysses S. Grant was then a young lieutenant who fought in the war, and later admitted (and is quoted here in the exhibition) “I do not think there was ever a more wicked war…I thought so at the time…only I had not the moral courage to resign.”

This narrative installation, originally commissioned for the SITElines inaugural Biennial in Sante Fe, New Mexico, for their Unsettled Landscape exhibit, is exceptional in its logical, dispassionate tone and in the choice of materials used to both inform and educate the viewer. Amidst the current highly provocative border discussions, it is extremely powerful and emotional to see the huge swath of the United States that was taken from Mexico.

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RIOT MATERIAL is LA’s premier literary-cultural magazine with an eye on art, word, and forward-aiming thought. Check out our gallery on IG: @ riotmaterial.

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