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.
About the Artist
David Taylor graduated with a BFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University in 1989. In 1994, he earned an MFA from the University of Oregon. Taylor’s work has been exhibited in institutions across the nation, among them The Nevada Museum of Art, SITE Santa Fe, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.. His images can be found in the permanent collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Fidelity Investments, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography; and the New Mexico Museum of Art. Taylor’s work has been featured in The New Yorker blog, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Orion Magazine, PREFIX PHOTO, Fraction Magazine and the Mexico/Latin America Edition of Esquire Magazine, among others. In 2010, Taylor’s Working the Line was published by Radius Books and has since received multiple best book and design excellence awards.
All images copyright David Taylor. Images provided courtesy of the artist.