A collaborative project on the US Mexico border with Andres Gonzalez, a fellow photographer who has been my partner since we met in grad school in 2003. Andres’ extended family migrated from Mexico to California over a period of decades, settling in the San Francisco Bay area. I also have 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 constant negotiation of identity in the borderlands is 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 not singular, authoritative ones; they are divided, duplicitous. The first trip took place between the cities of El Paso and Presidio in the US and Ojinaga in Mexico. This autumn we plan to develop it further.