The exhibition Amexica: Marie Baronnet is the second part of a two-part research entitled “What happens to us here, in the face”, according to Théodore Monod’s expression. The exhibition Photographing voodoo: Catherine De Clippel is the first part.
On the border separating the United States and Mexico stands a barrier, a sinister wall known to all. On her own, she embodies all the walls and refusals of the other. In Amexica, photography is a battlefield. We face each other in a fight between communities, cultures and countries. Above all, we see a merciless struggle between individuals and between genres.
In a territory circumscribed by aggressive materials, contradictions cannot be settled smoothly; an arena where, in the end, it is always the same people who have to admit defeat. Racial cleavage, class cleavage, everything here is opposed in a confrontation where one of the protagonists begs, and the other humiliates. Binary world, alternation of blinding natural light and darkness, precariousness versus abundance, city and desert, DIY and sophistication, militias opposed to coyotes, as if this part of the world only worked in schematic terms! It must be admitted, however, that on full moon evenings, in the alternation of day and night, the fight is played out between two forces, between two impulses, those of life and death, of love and hatred. The line of demarcation clearly indicates the territory of the master and the territory of the weak.
On the United States side, the wall is the starting point of a generalized psychosis, a denial of reality shared by an anxious community. Closing the border means “protecting the people against crime” and investing the wall with a sacred character. The work is intended to be “impenetrable, beautiful and solid” (Donald Trump), planned over 3,200 kilometers, limits the confines of civilization against these modern “barbarians”.
In a photographic suite dedicated to the representation of an apocalyptic reality on the border between Mexico and the United States, Marie Baronnet leaves nothing in the shadows. By using bold, often contrasting color with a twilight tone, the photographer brings out the nature of a conflict that tears communities apart. His attention is focused on random moments and juxtaposes moments that make intelligible the process, the apartheid put in place by the wall, in the urgency, portrait by portrait, to grasp the drama that faces us, its protagonists and its modalities.
Marie Baronnet : Amexica
March 4 – June 4, 2023
Centre de la photographie de Mougins
43 Rue de l’Église
06250 Mougins, France