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David Taylor and Marcos Ramírez ERRE: Monuments & DeLIMITations


Summary Note

This archive includes materials from the photography projects Monuments, and DeLIMITations, a project that Taylor collaborated on with Marco Ramírez ERRE. Both projects document borders—the existing Mexico-U.S. border, and the proposed Mexican border of 1821. Materials include working photographs, historic photographic documentation, postcards, and ephemera.

Biographical Note

Biographical Note: David Taylor
David Taylor earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. His photographs, multimedia installations, and artist's books have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at venues that include the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, The New Mexico Museum of Art and the El Paso Museum of Art. Taylor's work is in the permanent collections of, Fidelity Investments, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum among others. The New Yorker blog, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Orion Magazine, PREFIX PHOTO, Fraction Magazine and the Mexico/Latin America Edition of Esquire Magazine have all featured his images. Taylor's ongoing examination of the U.S. Mexico border was supported by a 2008 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. His monograph Working the Line was published by Radius Books in 2010 and has received numerous "best book" and design excellence awards. His second book about the border, Monuments, was published by Radius in 2015. Biographical Note: Marcos Ramírez ERRE
Marcos Ramírez ERRE was born in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico in 1961. He earned a law degree from the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California and in 1983 immigrated to the United States, where he worked for 17 years in the construction industry. In 1989 (while still working in the construction sector), he became active in visual arts. Since then he has participated in residencies, lectures and different individual and collective exhibitions in Mexico, USA, Canada, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Russia China, France, Spain, Portugal, Cuba, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil, and in major exhibitions, including: InSite94, InSite97, the VI and VII Havana Biennials, the Whitney Biennial 2000, the second Moscow Biennial, the San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial, the 2007 Sao Paulo/Valencia Biennial, the California Biennial 08, the Zero One Biennial, The Site Santa Fe Biennial, Made in California, Mexico Illuminated, From Baja to Vancouver, “Politica de la Diferencia, Arte Iberoamericano de fin de siglo”, Human/Nature, and ECO Contemporary Mexican Art, in the Centro Reina Sofia Museum in Spain. In 2007 he received a United States Artist fellowship, and since 2009 has been a member of Mexico’s National System of Art Creators.

Scope and Content

This archive includes materials from two related projects. The first was begun in 2007, when Taylor started photographing along the U.S.-Mexico border between El Paso/Juarez and San Diego/Tijuana. This project documented all of the monuments that mark the international boundary west of the Rio Grande. The undertaking to reach all of the 276 obelisks, most of which were installed between the years 1891 and 1895, led to encounters with migrants, smugglers, the Border Patrol, minutemen, and residents of the borderlands.

During the period of his work, the United States Border Patrol doubled in size and the federal government constructed more than 600 miles of pedestrian fencing and vehicle barrier. With apparatus that ranges from simple tire drags (that erase footprints allowing fresh evidence of crossing to be more readily identified) to seismic sensors (that detect the passage of people on foot or in a vehicle) the border is now under constant surveillance and the Border Patrol has attained “operational control” in many areas, but people and drugs continue to cross. Much of that traffic occurs in the most remote, rugged areas of the southwest deserts. Taylor’s travels along the border were done both alone and in the company of agents and resulted in the book and portfolio Monuments, which contains 276 views of the obelisks along the United States - Mexico Border.

In 2014 Taylor and Tijuana artist Marcos Ramirez ERRE (Whitney Biennial 2000, among other exhibitions) undertook the second project, which traced the original 1821 northern boundary of the newly independent Mexico, a line that stretched from present-day northern California to the Gulf of Mexico, west of New Orleans. That boundary was never surveyed or physically marked and exists only as an artifact on historic maps. For the project, deLIMITations, ERRE and Taylor marked the1821 border between Mexico and the western territories of the United States by installing 40 markers along the way built of sheet metal and designed to mimic the existing monuments. The artists asked the question “What would Mexico and the United States look like had that boundary been fully realized?” The debut of the site-specific component of the project was part of the exhibition "Unsettled Landscapes," the first in a series of biennial exhibitions called "SITElines" at Site Santa Fe, which premiered in July 2014.

The archive includes notes, postcards, historic photographs and glass negatives, email correspondence, Google Earth files, early maps of both boundaries, artifacts from immigrant and Minutemen camps, working photographs, portfolio photographs, and press materials. The complete 1896 government photographic report on the existing border is located in the CA+E Research Library’s Special Collections.


David Taylor: Monuments/Marcos Ramírez ERRE & David Taylor: DeLIMITations is organized into three series, a series for materials generated about the projects, and a series for each project.
  • Series 1: Planning and Outcomes
  • Series 2: Monuments
  • Series 3: DeLIMITations

Inclusive Dates


Bulk Dates


Quantity / Extent

5 cubic feet



Related Publications

Goin, Peter. Tracing the Line: A Photographic Survey of the American-Mexican Border. Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Reno, 1987. (Altered Landscape Collection, 1987.13.01)

International Boundary Commission, United States and Mexico. Report of the Boundary Commission upon the survey and re-marking of the boundary between the United States and Mexico west of the Rio Grande, 1891 to 1896. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1898.

International Boundary Commission, United States and Mexico. Views of the monuments and characteristic scenes along the boundary between the United States and Mexico west of the Rio Grande. 1892 – 1895. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1899.

James, Geoffrey, Elizabeth Armstrong, Sebastian Rotella, and Dot Tuer. Running Fence. North Vancouver, BC: Presentation House Gallery, 1999.

Phillips, Sandra S., Dana Priest, and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns. Santa Fe, NM: Radius Books, 2014.

Taylor, David, Hannah Frieser, and Luis Alberto Urrea. David Taylor: Working the Line. Santa Fe, NM; New York: Radius Books, 2010.

Taylor, David. Monuments. Santa Fe NM; Reno NV: Radius Books and Nevada Museum of Art, 2015.

Truett, Samuel. Fugitive landscapes: the forgotten history of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Container Listing by Series:

CAE1507/1 Series 1: Planning and Outcomes, 2011-2016

Series 1 includes artist information, project correspondence, and exhibition materials.
  • CAE Box 105

    • 1-1 Artist Information, David J. Taylor, 2011-2016
    • 1-2 Artist Information, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, 2011-2014
    • 1-3 Archive Development, 2013-2015
    • 1-4 Archive Exhibition, Nevada Museum of Art, 2016

CAE1507/2 Series 2: Monuments, 1851-2016

Series 2 contains items related to the Monuments project. Materials include project reference materials, most of which are historical in nature, working photographs, found artifacts, and press materials.
  • CAE Box 105

    • 2-1 Historic Reference Materials (1 of 3), 1851-2011
    • 2-2 Historic Reference Materials (2 of 3), Between 1892-1894
    • 2-3 Historic Reference Materials (3 of 3), Between 1892-1894
    • 2-4 Working Photographs (Monuments 1 – 43), 2007-2012
    • 2-5 Working Photographs (Monuments 44 – 87), 2008-2012
    • 2-6 Working Photographs (Monuments 88 – 123B), 2008-2015
    • 2-7 Working Photographs (Monuments 124 – 169), 2009-2012
    • 2-8 Working Photographs (Monuments 170 – 215), 2009-2012
    • 2-9 Working Photographs (Monuments 216 – 258), 2009-2014
    • 2-10 Portfolio, Box 1: Monuments: 276 Views of the United States – Mexico Border, (Monuments 1 – 66), 2007-2015
    • 2-11 Portfolio, Box 2: Monuments: 276 Views of the United States – Mexico Border, (Monuments 67 – 123B), 2007-2015
    • 2-12 Portfolio, Box 3: Monuments: 276 Views of the United States – Mexico Border, (Monuments 124 – 192), 2007-2015
    • 2-13 Portfolio, Box 4: Monuments: 276 Views of the United States – Mexico Border, (Monuments 193 – 258), 2007-2015
    • 2-14 Found Artifacts, Not dated
    • 2-15 Press Materials, 2011-2016

Additional Materials

  • CAE Box 111 Objects

    • 2-14#13 Border-crossing Shoes, not dated
  • CAE Box 116 Large Objects

    • 2-14#14a Stick with Basket made from a Plastic Bottle (Basket portion), not dated
  • CAE Box 250 Large Objects

    • 2-2#1b Stereo Card, not dated
    • 2-14#15 Two-way Radio, not dated
    • 2-14#16 Cell Phone, not dated
  • CAE Textile Rack

    • 2-14#14b Stick with Basket made from a Plastic Bottle (Stick portion), not dated
  • Collection Storage

    • 2-1#45 Mexican Boundary B. Extract from the Treaty Map of Disturnell of 1847, Map, 1851
    • 2-1#46 Map of the United States and their Territories between the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean and part of Mexico Compiled from the Surveys Made Under the Order of W.H. Emory., Map, 1857
    • 2-10#1 276 Monuments Portfolio, 2007 – 2015, printed 2015

CAE1507/3 Series 3: DeLIMITations, 2014-2016

Series 3 contains items related to the DeLIMITations project. Materials include a project summary and blog, project images, project ephemera including T-shirts, and a monument, and press materials.
  • CAE Box 105

    • 3-1 Project Information and Blog, 2014
    • 3-2 Reference Prints, 2014
    • 3-3 Project Ephemera, 2015
    • 3-4 Press Materials, 2014-2016

Additional Materials

  • CAE Box 4 Objects

    • 3-3#2 Delimitations T-shirt (Olive with brown silkscreen), June 2014
    • 3-3#3 Delimitations T-shirt (Olive with bronze silkscreen), June 2014
    • 3-3#4 Delimitations T-shirt (Brown with silver silkscreen), June 2014
  • Offsite Storage Stand Alone Item

    • 3-3#1 Delimitations Monument, 2016