Join photographer and Guggenheim Fellow David Taylor and a panel of photographers and border experts for a discussion of current issues along the U.S.-Mexico border as reflected in Taylor's new book, Working the Line (Radius Books, Spring 2010). The event is free and open to the public.
In 2008, Taylor received a Guggenheim Fellowship for his ongoing examination of the U.S.–Mexico border. His investigation is organized around the documentation of a series of approximately 260 obelisks that mark the international boundary as it extends from El Paso/Juarez to San Diego/ Tijuana. These monuments—striking objects situated in impossibly gorgeous and difficult terrain—were installed between the years 1892 and 1895.
Through his work, Taylor has earned remarkable access to U.S. Border Patrol facilities, agents and routine operations. Patrol agents often refer to their job in the field as "line work" which is an apt description of Taylor's own time as he documented the obelisks.
Being on the "line" has given Taylor a unique view into overlapping issues of border security, human and drug smuggling, the continuing construction of the border fence and its impact on the land. This book captures the complexity of the terrain, the politics, and the human dynamics involved. His images are documentary in nature, but also formally and visually compelling.
Taylor will sign copies of the book and participate in a discussion with these panelists:
Paul F. Wells, a 30-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol
David J. Garcia, a member of the Tohono O’Odham Nation (whos ancestral lands span the U.S./Mexico Border) and the Chukut Kuk District, which fronts the international boundary
Hannah Frieser, a photographer and book artist whose essays are included in Working the Line
Darius Himes, acquiring editor at Radius Books, a nonprofit publisher of books on photography and the visual arts he founded with three colleagues in 2007
David Chickey, a founding member of Radius Books
Mary Anne Redding, curator of photography at the New Mexico History Museum
Taylor earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. His photographs, multimedia installations, and artist’s books have been exhibited in group and solo exhibitions at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, Connecticut; 516 Arts, Albuquerque, New Mexico; the Stanlee and Gerald Rubin Center for the Visual Arts at the University of Texas at El Paso; El Paso Museum of Art; SF Camerawork, San Francisco; Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City, MO; and Northlight Gallery at Arizona State University, Tempe. His work is in a number of permanent collections, including Columbia College Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Washington State Arts Commission, Olympia; University of Washington, Seattle; El Paso Museum of Art; Fidelity Investments, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum. Taylor has completed recent major commissions for artwork that is installed in the U.S. Border Patrol Station in Van Horn, Texas and the United States Federal Courthouse in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Taylor’s ongoing examination of the U.S. Mexico border was supported by a 2008 Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Copies of his book with a 24-page accordion-fold booklet will be available at the event for $50. A signed, limited-edition copy with a signed print in a folio will be $800.