Andrade, Eniac Martinez, and Todd Bigelow the artists in Common
Borders: Casa Blanca, Riverside, and La Frontera create
portraits of the layered communities that make up the region known
as la frontera or the border. These images refute the representation
of the U.S./ Mexico border as a set of overwhelming statistics showing
instead how the border impacts the everyday lives of individuals.
Yolande Andrade and Eniac Martinez are both established art photographers
living in Mexico City. They created the bodies of work shown in Common
Borders in 1992 as special commissions for UCR/California
Museum of Photography, which now houses the photographs in its
permanent collections. The work of Andrade and Martinez was exhibited
at UCR/CMP as part of the show Between Worlds: Contemporary Mexican
Photography. These commissions were originally sponsored by a
grant from UC Mexus.
Andrade who is known for her humanitarian approach to street photography
traditionally focuses on subjects in her native Mexico. Here she captures
a portrait of Riverside’s predominantly Hispanic Casa Blanca neighborhood
focusing on residents continuing traditions and ways they have transformed
their community both fitting in with it and making it their own.
Martinez documents a group of Mixteco Indians who migrated to the
United States from their home state of Oaxaca in search of work. Mixtecos
provide much of the labor force used to build the fastest growing
housing market in the U.S. For many Mixtecos, Spanish is a foreign
language and thus they find themselves in between U.S. and Mexican
cultures -- English and Spanish -- trying to survive and maintain
their indigenous cultural identity. Martinez won a Fullbright award
in 1989 for his work on the Mixteco Indians. In this series Martinez
photographs in Mexico, Riverside and the Inland Empire.
Todd Bigelow is an internationally published editorial photojournalist.
He began photographing the U.S./Mexico border out of personal interest.
In the last ten years he has developed deep relationships with people
on both sides of the border. As immigration policies have gone into
effect Bigelow has documented the transformation of border communities
from many perspectives. Common Borders features works from
his series documenting migrant shelters along the Mexican side of
the border, migrant camps in the hills of San Diego, and vigilante
ranchers along the U.S. side of the border. In each case Bigelow seeks
to capture the intense psychological as well as social and literal
effects of border policies.
Andrade captures the community of a local neighborhood, Martinez pictures
the community formed by a cultural bond, and Bigelow photographs the
communities that have arisen in relation to Border policies and politics.
These communities overlap, interact, and together form the dynamic
culture that is the border region.
image copyright Todd Bigelow and AURORA Photographs.)
GALLERY | QTVR
| UCR / CMP