DeLIMITations: Mapping the border of 1821 between Mexico and the United States

OPC, in association with the Instituto Vallartense de Cultura, are honored to present DeLIMITations: Mapping the border of 1821 between Mexico and the United States, a site-specific installation by artists Marcos Ramírez ERRE and David Taylor.

DeLIMITations is a 2,400 mile long installation invoking nineteenth-century exploration and conquest expeditions. In 2014, artists Marcos Ramírez ERRE and David Taylor set out to trace the historical 1821 border between Mexico and the western territories of the United States. That border stretched from the present-day Oregon/California state line to the Gulf of Mexico just west of Louisiana, and had previously only existed as a reference on historic maps and treaty documents because it had never been surveyed or physically marked.

For DeLIMITations, ERRE and Taylor asked the question, “What would Mexico and the United States look like if that boundary had been fully realized?” ERRE and Taylor, accompanied by filmmaker José Inerzia, who helped document the process, drove a van outfitted to serve as a mobile command center, fabrication space, and camper along the 1821 border. The artists successfully installed 47 obelisks in a vast landscape that encompasses the 2.1 million square kilometers of land ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo after the War between Mexico and the United States (1846-1848).

The first monument was placed on the Pacific coast near Brookings, Oregon, and the last at the mouth of the Sabina River, near Port Arthur, Texas. Cities and towns along the historic border include Brookings, OR; New Pine Creek, CA; Denio, NV; McDermitt, NV; Jackpot, NV; Medicine Bow, WY; Leadville, CO; Cañon City, CO; Pueblo, CO; The Board, CO; Syracuse, KS; Garden City, KS; Dodge City, KS; Texarkana, TX; Orange, TX; and Port Arthur, TX. All these cities and towns would have been frontier had the border remained as such.

The work of Ramírez and Taylor questions the immutability and permanence of the borders at a time when territorial entitlements are disputed around the world. By making the original border visible, they recognize the territory that Mexico lost and claim for the present. They do not necessarily challenge the current border, but insist on the recognition that the United States and Mexico have a complex and shared history and a common interest.

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The monuments placed along the border of 1821 will remain for an indeterminate time, although they will undoubtedly be displaced and the marked line will vanish.

Opening: Saturday, October 7, 7PM

October 7, 2017 to January 13, 2018

Juárez 598, Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

By Marcos Ramirez ERRE and David Taylor



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