Border Cantos | Sonic Borders

Now available through Art Bridges: 

Border Cantos | Sonic Borders


This exhibition brings together the sights and the sounds of the Mexican-American border through a transformative and multi-sensory experience. Photographer Richard Misrach and composer/artist Guillermo Galindo began collaborating in 2011, after both artists had created bodies of work inspired by the Mexican-American border region and its human impact. In the political climate today, art surrounding this border is more relevant than ever, compelling us to put ourselves in the shoes of these migrants—to envision their journey.

Misrach’s large-scale photographs beautifully capture the various types of landscapes, textures, and experiences found across the almost 2,000-mile dividing line. But, by showing moments of disruption on the land, they also introduce a complicated look at policing the boundary.

Galindo’s installation Sonic Borders is an original score for eight instruments, created out of discarded objects found and collected at the border. The composition embraces the pre-Columbian belief that there was an intimate connection between an instrument and the material from which it was made, with no separation between spiritual and physical worlds. Based on the Mesoamerican “Venus calendar,” Sonic Borders plays for a total of 260 minutes and is separated into 13 cycles of 20 minutes. Within these cycles, the instruments play in small groups of two or more, or all together as an orchestra.

When experienced as a whole, the images, instruments, and emanating sounds create an immersive space in which to look, listen, and learn about the complicated issues surrounding the Mexican-American border. While the artists do not seek to provide the solution, they do provide insight into a place into which most people have never ventured and create a poignant connection that draws on our humanity.


Organizer: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Space Requirements: Approximately 3,000 square feet (flexible)

Supporting Material: Didactics and extended label text, interactive gallery activity, interactive videos.

Exhibition Costs: $25,000 fee plus shared costs for 8-12 weeks.*

*Art Bridges Partner Institutions are eligible for financial support through an Exhibition Project. If you’d like to apply for support – and become a partner – start here.


Tour Schedule

Amarillo Art Museum
Amarillo, TX
August – October, 2018

Samek Art Museum at Bucknell University
Lewisburg, PA
January – May, 2019

Missoula Art Museum
Missoula, MT
June – September, 2019



Download info sheet PDF

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