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Miradas, Contemporary Mexican Photographers at BDC


To counter the stereotypical image of Mexico largely created by the American media, the Bronx Documentary Center is exhibiting the work of four Mexican photographers and one Chicano. Chuy Benitez, born in Houston, Texas, decided to represent the cultural diversity of his hometown, where he is seen as not quite Mexican and not quite American. Cultural export is also the focus of Ruth Prieto, who visited Mexicans recently settled in the United States, where they cover the walls with lively blue, yellow, pink and green colors, like the traditional costumes of their native regions.

The portraits feature faces and decorative elements like candles shaped like the Virgin Mary, meals and handwritten notes. Prieto portrays the diversity of Mexicans who emigrate to the United States for various reasons, but who are always seeking new opportunities. “I have come to accomplish dreams that in Mexico would not have been achievable,” writes one woman who managed to cross the border to escape local violence. The corpses photographed by Fernando Brito in corn fields, rivers, bushes and along the road, were less lucky. They’re discreetly displayed on small iPads in a hallway. Despite the gory subject matter, Brito approaches death with delicacy, never showing the victims’ faces and blending their bodies into almost romantic environment. One floats in a still canal, the timid waves reflecting a sunset. “I tried to give them a bit more life,” says Brito.

Violence is not limited to the cartels, however, and Mauricio Palos, from the Boréal collective, captures the complexity of the situation by covering a wide geographical and thematic field. “My experience with the media changed my vision of the situation, which I try to report on by telling different kinds of stories,” he says. Displayed on 4×3-meter panels, his investigation examines politics, economics, physics and religion from Guatemala to Detroit. Alejandro Cartagena remained in Mexico to observe the impact of urban planning on life and the land, and portraying those who made other choices, like those who remain in border towns torn apart by smugglers of drugs and men.

Miradas, Contemporary Mexican Photographers
Bronx Documentary Center
Through January 12th, 2015
614 Courtlandt Avenue (@ 151st St.)
Bronx, New York 10451
United States

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