Mine Disaster, 1948
Ben Shahn, 1948
Rosângela Rennó originally designed United States (Mexican Series) as a public art project of mural-size photographs installed in storefronts in San Diego and Tijuana. Working with Eduardo Zepeda, a photographer who specializes in wedding portraits‚ Rennó documented people from the sixteen Mexican states who had migrated to Tijuana presumably to cross into the United States. (The title challenges expectations by referring to the “united states” of the Mexican federation, not to its northern neighbor.) The subjects were photographed in their places of work, and the map of Mexico identifies each subject’s point of origin. The portraits convey the nature of experience along one of the most heavily policed and trafficked borders in the world.