Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

The Border: Hot Topic for Gallery Exhibit

June 3rd, 2011

By: Teresa Parker Farris

Photo: Footprints cover the desert sands on the border of the United States and Mexico in this photo entitled ‘€œCrossings, Vopoki Wash, Arizona, 2008.‘€ (Photo by Michael Berman)

On view through June 29 at Newcomb Art Gallery at Tulane University is ‘€œHistory of the Future,‘€ an exhibition featuring the photographs of Michael Berman and Julián Cardona, who focus on the people and places of the desert Southwest and the lands where Mexico and the United States come together.

“Minuteman patrols receive instructions, 2005‘€ is the title of this provocative image in the Newcomb Gallery exhibit. (Photo by Julián Cardona)

Curated by Nancy Sutor, the exhibition unfolds the two artists‘€™ multiple collaborations of the last seven years.

“The topic of the border is one for which each artist has a profound and diverse knowledge,” says gallery director Charles M. Lovell. ‘€œAs the debate over our country‘€™s immigration policies and the escalating violence of Mexico‘€™s drug war continue to dominate headlines, this is a timely and aesthetically relevant exhibition.‘€

A native New Yorker who studied biology at Colorado College, Michael Berman wanders the borderlands of the United States and Mexico exploring mining, logging, grazing and other issues that impact the land.

Lovell says Berman‘€™s large-format, black-and-white, digital prints reflect a modernist austerity — from fragments of white plastic tangled in desert vegetation to a broken doll in the sand. The large prints allow the viewer to be surrounded by the images and become immersed in the formal elements of the piece.

Julián Cardona was born in Zacateca, Mexico, and lives in Juarez. He is a self-taught photographer who has published work in the newspapers El Fronterizo and El Dario de Juarez. Cardona has an intimate knowledge of the desperate conditions — fueled by murders, rapes and disappearances — in which his subjects live.

True to the documentary tradition, his black-and-white photographs record social and political situations with the aim of conveying information, Lovell says, yet the images of rallies, migrants and minutemen also convey the emotions and humanity of the subjects.

Free and open to public, the Newcomb Art Gallery is located in the Woldenberg Art Center on the Tulane uptown campus. Summer hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, call 504-865-5328.

Teresa Parker Farris is marketing coordinator for the Newcomb Art Gallery.

See the original article in Tulane’s New Wave