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Traces of illegal migration in Mexico: Mark Ruwedel

Global modernisms in the 21st century

Video transcript

my name is Mark ordell and I'm a landscape photographer based in Southern California the work in the exhibition is from a series entitled crossing which refers to illegal undocumented people's crossing through the desert from Mexico into Southern California as I walked across the desert just you know meters from the international border I started seeing a lot of trash that was very particular inner tubes water bottles the border there is formed by a canal so the inner tubes signified a large number of people floating across the dangerous body of water water bottles obviously is like you know what you need to walk on foot through the desert I became really interested in that because my work as a whole has to do with forensic evidence as it's embedded in the landscape that speaks of human history's in a relationship to the natural contours of the land and the natural and geological histories of the formation of the land I started going back there and actively searching out sites where I might find this evidence which in fact of course would have been in the places that would have been least visible of which I guess then it brings us back to the theme attic of the show of this act part of the exhibition which is surveillance these are these are the kind of very both sort of Ben Allen poignant traces of people who perhaps at least momentarily have the state did escape detection and they're in their crossing of this imaginary but very charged line in the desert my pictures they introduce the idea of surveillance in a manner that perhaps is different from a lot of the other material in the exhibition and that who's surveying and who's being surveyed is neither are visible in the work what we have are these evidence of a highly politicized story that speaks to national States and surveillance and the patrol control of movements of people that but we actually don't see the characters the players in the drama