This exhibition premieres Al río / To the River, a large-scale photographic work begun in 2016 on the Rio Grande, as it is named in the United States, or Río Bravo, as it is named in Mexico.
Zoe Leonard photographed along the 2,000 kilometres where the river is used to demarcate the boundary between the United Mexican States and the United States of America, following the river from the border cities of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico, where it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Epic in scale, Al río / To the River results from close observation of both the natural and built environments shaped by and surrounding the river; from desert and mountains to cities, towns and small villages where daily life unfolds in tandem with agriculture, commerce, industry, policing, and surveillance. Leonard’s photographs focus on the accumulation of infrastructure and other constructions built into and alongside the river to control the flow of water, the passage of goods, and the movement of people: dams, levees, roads, irrigation canals, bridges, pipelines, fences and checkpoints.
“The shifting nature of a river – which floods periodically, changes course and carves new channels – is at odds with the political task it is asked to perform”, says Leonard.
Zoe Leonard. Al río / To the River
26 February – 06 June 2022
Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
3, Park Dräi Eechelen