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“Point Counterpoint”
Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego. California
Recommendation by Cathy Breslaw

Ana Casas Broda, “Milk II. (3),” 2010, inkjet print on cotton paper

“Point Counterpoint” presents the photographic images of 19 contemporary Mexican photographers as one of the current Pacific Standard Time exhibitions. The show highlights social, political and economic changes in Mexico. The works cover the years from 2000 to 2015 and includes a diverse range of work, including issues of: the border, cultural identity, abstraction, appropriation and the human body. Artist Patricia Martin digitally manipulates wedding portraits to examine the brides’ identity and traditional female roles. Ana Casa Broda’s works chronicle her own journey through motherhood. Teresa Margolles uses the backdrop of abandoned theater marquees to display suicide notes, referencing decaying buildings and infrastructure and Mexico’s struggle with violence and the past. Maya Goded uses photography and video to document the emotional environment  of  women in vulnerable communities in Ciudad Juarez, where so many murders have taken place over the last 25 years. Guillermo Arias also documents violence, that of Mexico’s ongoing drug war. The rising annual death count informs this work. Jose Luis Cuevas’ contribution is a dark photographic essay describing a spiritual world where faith and religion are exchanged for technology. 


Frederico Gama documents a year-long project with the goal of photographing an event for 12 years, in the 12th month, on the 12th day for 12 hours. Gama focused his camera on individuals who on that day abandon their everyday life to play the part of a religious pilgrim. Yvonne Venegas’s series focuses on one of the wealthiest regions of Latin America, one that has kept drug violence at bay, revealing moments of authenticity as well as the denial of the everyday reality of its citizens. Andres Carretero presents his “Redheads Series” (2009) of 32 large format images of Mexican redheads challenging expectations about what Mexicans are assumed to look like, either by outsiders or other Mexicans. Dr. Lakra, who is known for embellishing vintage images with tattoo-like designs that are both beautiful and repulsive, blurring the line between traditional and pop culture. Alex Dorfsman explores themes of the Mexican landscape through abstract views of natural and man-made artifacts that are representations of emotional spaces. Alejandra Laviada exhibits an abstract series of images of light, composed through multiple exposures. The images appear to float in space with each layer, revealing a unique play with transparency and perspective. These photographers and others included in this exhibition largely reflect the cultural transformations occurring in Mexico and use varied approaches to abstraction, landscape, religion, gender and pain by providing us with a deeper understanding of the challenges of our Mexican neighbors in this global environment.

Museum of Photographic Arts | MoPA

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