Friday, November 27, 2015

Boundaries Between Homes - capturing immigration and spaces

"Un-drawn" at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center collects the work of four photographers capturing the process of immigration and the arbitrary boundaries between spaces.

Boundaries Between Homes – capturing immigration and spaces


Though American constituents have varying opinions on immigration today, it’s unarguably the foundation of our country. Whether you can trace back your ancestry to Ellis Island; are a first generation immigrant; or know a grandfather down the line that came over on the Mayflower, we are a country of immigrants.

The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center examines contemporary immigration through an artistic lens. Un-drawn presents the work of four photographers—J Carrier, Richard Mosse, Xavier Simmons, and David Taylor. Each artist examines immigration differently, from the transportation to a new home to the boundaries established between countries.

Superunknown (Alive in The) is the collection of photographs that make up Simmons’ contribution to the show. “I believe most people from the Americas have ancestors who not that many decades ago migrated via one form of ‘transportation’ or the other and we still to this day have migrants coming to and fro both legally and illegally via a multitude of sources,” says Simmons. “What I am most interested in are the in between spaces... especially as they relate to narrative and index.” Simmons’ photographs capture crowded boats and the ocean—the no-man’s land between countries.

David Taylor takes a look at land boundaries, specifically the 276 obelisks that designate the border between the United States and Mexico. “Most of [the obelisks] were installed in the 1890s with the intention clearly marking the border,” says Taylor. He’s photographed all 276. “I live in southern Arizona and, as resident of the borderlands, I wanted to better understand my surroundings,” says Taylor of the project.

Though we like to think of immigration as a hopeful process, a chance at a better life in the United States, we often overlook the painful part of the process. Un-drawn captures the sense of displacement that comes with immigration and the sadness that comes from leaving the only home you’ve ever known.

You can see Un-drawn at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center at 1400 N. American Street now through May 17, 2013. 

Art Attack
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Art Attack is a partnership with Drexel University and is supported by a grant from the Knight/NEA Community Arts Journalism Challenge, administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

Mary Sydnor Art Attack
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter