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LAS AMERICAS Undocumented Art BYJOHN ROSS What the indocumentados leave behind in their excruciatingly dangerousif also inspiredtrek into El Norte fascinates Lawrence Taylor and Maeve Hickey. The University of Arizona anthropologists \(authors of The Tunnel Children curated the small exhibit “Lost & Found” for the Paso al Norte Museum on the University of Texas-El Paso campus last fall. The show was heavily freighted with the deadliness of the geography in which their findings were made, the notorious “Coridor the unpardoning desert west of Yuma, Arizona, where hundreds perish from dehydration under the brutal sun. The spectacular beauty of this killing fieldmore than 200 died there in 2004 while trying to migrate to the United States \(See “Walking into the Desert;’ the shadows of those who do not survive. Indeed, whether the objects collected by Taylor and Hickey belong to the living or the dead or the desert itself is the tension upon which this small display of ordinary objects turns. Prowling around such picturesque locales as Growler Valley where the rattlers and the scorpions slither and roam, Taylor and Hickey uncovered a single white high top baby shoe, two emptied cans of Clemente Jacques Chiles Vinagres, a flattened pack of Boots with three filter tips graciously extended. Each is now encased in a plastic museum cube or case, instant Duchampesque artifacts in the anthropology of desperation. A baseball cap and T-shirt distributed by a publicly funded Mexican social services agency known by its initials as “the DIF,” are folded into each other in a way that suggests a dissected cadaver. A store-bought bike and a baby stroller are crammed together in an airless space both have large empty plastic water bottles attached. Peering into the glass case, the viewer tries to imagineand trackthe young mother who was defi Plastic water bottles are attached to the bike and baby stroller on exhibit last fall at the Paso al Norte Museum in El Paso. photo: Laura Trejo/UTEP 16 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 1/21/05