Monday, June 27, 2016

Photo Project


I went to the Phoenix Art Museum last week to see an exhibit of photos by David Taylor.  Between 2007 and 2015, Taylor worked on a project to photograph all 276 of the obelisks that mark the border between the United States and Mexico.  Working between El Paso Texas/Juarez Mexico (where the border leaves the Rio Grande river and moves across land to the Pacific Ocean at San Diego California/Tijuana Mexico.  The obelisks were put in place during the 1890's by the International Boundary Commission and they were documented then by photographer D. R. Payne.  In 2015, Taylor published a book with pictures of each obelisk in numerical order and this exhibit also includes all 276 photos along the wall above.  It was fascinating to see how the terrain changes and how some obelisks are now surrounded by border walls and fences while others in rougher terrain are still wide open.


Above is a closer shot of some of the photos so you can get a better idea of how they look.  Many people have called them 'mile-markers' but the placement was not measured that way.  They were placed with consideration that they would be visible from each other.  Most of them are between 2.5 and 3.5 miles apart along the 690 mile stretch from the Rio Grand to the Pacific Ocean.

10 comments:

Steve Reed said...

What an interesting project! And an interesting commentary on the increasing fortification of the US border.

Kate said...

This is a fascinating exhibit with a lot of historical significance. Thanks also for the background information and explanation.

Mo said...

Has he done a book on this work? It is similar to the project I have been working on for several months now. I am photographing the razor wire fences that have been going up throughout Europe since the refugee crisis began.

Karl Demetz said...

A fascinating project, Sharon !

Christine said...

Wow! What a project! A great photo exhibit!

Lowell said...

That would take an immense amount of commitment and patience. It's most interesting and probably quite important historically.

William Kendall said...

An unusual subject photographically speaking, but it looks well worthwhile!

RedPat said...

What a wonderful project. I guess they all become redundant when the wall goes up? ;-))

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Gosh what dedication Sharon, but such a worthwhile project for future generations!

Jack said...

I never knew that there are obelisks on the border. This would have been an interesting exhibition to see, especially at a time when certain idiots (uhh, excuse me) political candidates are proposing to build a wall along our border with Mexico.