This exhibition presents traces of the human experience--backpacks, water bottles, border patrol restrains, and other objects left behind in the desert by undocumented migrants on their journey into the U.S. This in combination with video shot by Richard Barnes on location along the U.S./Mexico border comprises State of Exception, the first major curation of the work of U-M anthropologist Jason De León’s Undocumented Migration project. This collaboration between artist/photographer Richard Barnes, De León, and curator Amanda Krugliak considers the complexity and ambiguity of the found objects and what they may or may not reveal in terms of transition, human experience, culture, violence, and accountability.
Two days of events are planned around the exhibit opening which will bring together students, scholars in the field, artists, and the local community:
Wednesday, January 23:
- Visit to Jason De León's class on materiality/violence by Robin Reineke and Kathryn Ferguson.
- Workshop and round-table presentations featuring Jason De León and students who have participated in the Undocumented Migration Project and Field School.
Thursday, January 24
- A round-table panel discussion with Jason De León about the Undocumented Migration Project and the State of Exception exhibition, with presentations from all three visitors/panelists: Stephen Brighton (anthropology, University of Maryland), Kathryn Ferguson (co-author of Crossing with the Virgin: Stories from the Migrant Trail), Robin Rieneke (PhD student, anthropology, University of Arizona).
- Opening reception of State of Exception exhibit with short remarks from students from the field school and informal Q & A.
- Opening of video installation about the project, including footage shot by Richard Barnes on location along the U.S. Mexico Border and featuring student interviews. Edited by Sharad Patel.
Tuesday, January 29
- "Of Braceros Fracasados and Other Success Stories: Border Ballads and Laments," a lecture by Daniel Ramirez (anthropology, U-M).