Lines and Lineage at SFC in San Francisco

Lines and Lineage will be on display in the context of the CatchLight Fellowship exhibition from 3 May to 30 June, 2018.

SF Camerawork
1011 Market Street, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103
United States

Artist Talk on Friday May 4th, 2018 – 7:30pm
Moderated by Sally Katz of SFMOMA

Palo Alto Photography Forum
Mitchell Park Community Center
Palo Alto, CA
United States

About Lines and Lineage

We often forget that the boundary between the United States and Mexico was not always where it is today. It used to be seven hundred miles 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, and indigenous people were given the right to vote. All this came to an end in 1848, when the United States seized half of Mexico’s land and created the border that we know today.

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: Mexican administration ended before photographic technology, revealed in Paris in 1839, arrived in the region. 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.

The CatchLight Fellowship is in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.