Shows & Events

  • Group show

    Divided video installation at MoCP Chicago and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

    Divided, my 2018 video installation about the Mexico-U.S. border will be on display at MoCP, Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Photography as part of the Stateless: Views of Global Migration group exhibition from January 24, to March 31, 2019.

    Museum of Contemporary Photography
    600 South Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60605
    USA

    It will also be exhibited at Turchin Center for the Visual Arts from 7 December, 2018 to 27 April, 2019.

    Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
    423 West King St.
    Boone, NC 28608
    USA

     

    About Divided

    Since Baja and Alta California were divided by the seizure of Mexican land by the United States military in 1848, a political boundary has jutted into the Pacific Ocean. Over the years, the border has been reinforced from a simple line to a fence to steel barrier. This single-channel video installation focuses on the timeless repetition of lines of waves as they crash perpendicular into the barrier. The collision of waves is mesmerizing, and we notice unified lines of waves that are divided in two.

     

    Preview video of Divided

     

     

    About Stateless: Views of Global Migration

    While global migration has existed for tens of thousands of years, we are currently facing an unprecedentedly vast movement of people across borders. According to the UN Refugee Agency, 68.5 million people were displaced in 2018, and of that number, 25.4 million have been designated as refugees, 10 million have been left stateless, and fewer than 105,000 have been resettled. 44,400 people each day are forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. Stateless: Views of Global Migrationseeks to humanize this stark data, providing an alternative visual landscape to the imagery typically associated with the current wave of global migration. Through the individual lenses of eight contemporary artists, this exhibition lays bare the contradictions inherent to the crisis, finding beauty and strength in the face of collective trauma. These powerful works of art bear witness, contemplate memory, and explore one’s connectivity to a place, even when one can no longer return. Organized by the MoCP’s executive director Natasha Egan, Stateless: Views of Global Migration addresses the individual stories that define this global human crisis.

    Artists featured in the exhibition include Tomas van Houtryve, Bissane Al Charif, Daniel Castro Garcia, Leila Alaoui, Shimon Attie, Omar Imam, Fidencio Fifield-Perez, and Hiwa K.

     


    Praise for Divided

    “This work took a very simple concept, a border wall between two countries, and visually infused it with all the complexities of the contemporary American debate. The ‘moving picture’ that tells this story, does so in a leisurely way, but clearly one that was thought out and executed with the utmost care and attention to detail. The ‘reveal’, at the end, lingers in your mind.”

    – Keith Jenkins, Director of Visual Journalism, NPR; Juror of the 2018 Producer’s Choice Award from CENTER Santa Fe.

     

    “Van Houtryve filmed a short video from above the wall’s end, entitled Divided (2018), which seems almost meditative.”

    – Jacqui Palumbo, Visual Culture Editor, Artsy / New York

     

    More info.


  • Group show

    Lines and Lineage in New York City’s Cathedral of St. John the Devine

    Six gelatin silver prints from my Lines and Lineage series will be on display in the group exhibition, Sanctuary: Building a House Without Walls, in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City from February 14 to June 30, 2019.

    The Cathedral Church of
    Saint John the Divine
    1047 Amsterdam Avenue
    at 112th Street
    New York, NY 10025
    USA

     

    About Lines and Lineage

    We often forget that the boundary between Mexico and the United States was not always where it is today. It used to be 1100 kilometers farther north, following what is now the state line between Oregon and California and running east to Wyoming before zagging southeast to Louisiana. Originally home to the indigenous peoples of the region, much of this land was Spanish and then Mexican territory for centuries before becoming what we now think of as the American West.

    Spanish colonists and missionaries settled here beginning in 1598. In 1821, Mexico won independence from Spain, and by the middle of the century, it was in some ways far more advanced than its neighbor to the northeast. It abolished slavery shortly after independence; black Mexicans soon gained prominent positions, including the governorship of California. Indigenous people were given the right to vote. All this came to an end in 1848, when the United States attacked Mexico, seized half its land, and created the border that we know today.

    At the time, the war on Mexico was emphatically opposed by prominent Americans, including Abraham Lincoln and John Quincy Adams. Henry David Thoreau penned his groundbreaking essay on Civil Disobedience after his arrest for nonpayment of taxes, an act of defiance of what he called an “unjust” war that aimed to “expand the slave territory.”

    Mexican administration was cut short before photographic technology, revealed in Paris in 1839, arrived in the region. The well-known visual record of the American West—dominated by photos of cowboys and white settlers, the Gold Rush and the arrival of the railroads—was created after 1848. Images from the Mexican era, on the other hand, were never fixed in our memory. Using glass plates and a nineteenth-century camera to photograph landscapes along the original border and create portraits of descendants of early inhabitants, this project imagines what that history might look like. It questions the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.

     

    About Sanctuary: Building a House Without Walls

    The  group show focuses on the right to shelter, and beyond that, an exploration of what shelter and sanctuary mean in a world divided by sectarian discord, cultural migration, and ongoing refugee crises.

    More info.