This work follows the US-Mexico borderlands, a collaborative project with Carolyn Drake, a fellow photographer who has been my partner since we met in grad school in 2003. Having toyed with the idea of collaborating on a project for years, this felt like the appropriate moment for us to finally do so.
My family migrated from Mexico to California and eventually started a family there. Carolyn also has roots in California – farmers who migrated West along the Oregon trail in the 19th century. We are repeatedly confounded by the ways our differing cultural backgrounds shape our behaviors, but the next moment we are confounded by the ways we defy them. The differences are what draw us together, but they have also been a source of struggle, something we are constantly hashing out.
The visual pairings we are making across the border reflect that struggle: to find balance, to relate, and to trust another to share the weight. The perpetual negotiation of identity in the borderlands was an inspiration – people and towns and waterways that are part one and part the other, perpetually divided and crossing between. We made pictures together yet apart, looking at the same things at almost the same time. They are honest moments but they not singular, authoritative ones; they are divided and duplicitous.