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State of Exception

Richard Barnes Amanda Krugliak Jason De León

State of Exception presents traces of the human experience-- objects left behind in the desert by undocumented migrants on their journey into the U.S., all collected as part of the research of U-M anthropologist Jason De León’s Undocumented Migration project. This exhibition created by artist/photographer Richard Barnes and artist/curator Amanda Krugliak in collaboration with anthropologist De León includes an installation of hundreds of backpacks left behind by migrants crossing the Arizona desert, as well as video images created by Richard Barnes on location along the Mexico-United States border. It also includes original audio recordings of interviews with migrants, documenting their experiences. State of Exception attempts to convey the complexity and ambiguity of these found artifacts and what they may or may not reveal in terms of transition, culture, commerce, violence, accountability, and our most fundamental sense of humanity. It offers the opportunity to re-think cultural objects, how we collect and organize them, further informing the contemporary conversation about immigration.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Installation
  • Depth: variable
  • Medium: installation
  • Width: variable
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: variable

About Richard Barnes Amanda Krugliak Jason De León

This exhibition is created by artist/photographer Richard Barnes, artist/curator Amanda Krugliak, in collaboration with UM anthropologist Jason De León and his crew. This exhibition was made possible with the support of the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities.