This work in progress is 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 draw us together, but they are also 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 defy the other’s expectations of our own storyline. We are making pictures together yet apart, looking at the same things at almost the same time. We are drawn to the imaginative negotiation of identity in the borderlands – people and towns and waterways that are part one and part the other, perpetually divided and crossing between.