During a period of rapid change along the US-Mexico border in 2007, Arizona-based artist David Taylor began photographing the 276 monuments that delineate the border between Mexico and the United States, documenting each of the obelisks installed by the International Boundary Commission following the Mexican/American War.
In the process of his work, and as tensions in the area growing as the zone became increasingly politicized, Taylor became familiar with the region, including the physical terrain, shifting politics, and human dynamics. The photographer undertook an extensive survey, one that rigorously engages the documentation conducted by Boundary Commission photographer D.R. Payne between 1891 and 1895. Here and Abroad: Photographs by David Taylor includes the full portfolio of monument photographs, installed in numerical order, to form a grid. It will also feature recent photographs that complement and expand upon the artist’s documentation of the monuments. Many of these pictures—some of them quite large—were made in the last few of years and enrich the story of Taylor’s experience photographing along the border. Primarily made in Tijuana, these new images are a succession of sketches guided by personal exploration and interaction. The photographs, a combination of expansive landscape views and images of people and interiors, are meant to reveal a space that is simultaneously foreign and familiar, much like the border itself.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website