The Border Project: Susan Harbage Page

Exhibition Artworks

Oct 2, 2011 - Oct 31, 2011

Public Opening Reception:  Friday, October 7th 
6 - 9 p.m.

The Border Project: New Work by Susan Harbage Page
 
Documenting and archiving objects found near the United States-Mexico border between Brownsville, Texas, and Matamoros, Mexico, Susan Harbage Page explores undocumented immigration’s liminality through her photography. As migrants attempt to pass over the Rio Grande before allowing America’s melting pot to absorb them, they often shed both the functional tools of their journeys and the possessions describing their former lives. Whether it is the deflated inner tube, the toothbrush, the wallet, or the pocket change, these materials are evidence of plans and lives abandoned and yet-to-be redefined. Page is amassing an archive of the transitional state.
 
By photographing the objects in situ, she provides an original context for the found objects. More importantly, however, the on-site images record absence. Footprints, crushed undergrowth, and seemingly unwatched fences speak to the phantasms of hope and desperation that have already struggled to pass by.
 
After gathering the discarded detritus, Page re-photographs the materials in a studio space before tagging and archiving them. The bare backdrops remove the temptation to spin narratives or weave back stories, which would possibly - and probably falsely - romanticize their histories. Instead, like the invisible population they presumably describe, these objects are properly without a specific time or place; they are neither here nor there.

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