Julián Cardona

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I make these photographs to show the faces of men and women and children who find their way across these borders to service this economy based on massive consumption. In a flat world, the only frontier left to conquer may be the empty space inside of ourselves, and for some reason, we try to fill that space with goods and entertainments. The millions of migrants who come to do the work also settle this frontier. They are the fathers and mothers of the new Americans. Blood will tell. –J.C.

Julián Cardona, born in Zacatecas, Mexico, was a small child when his family moved to Juárez. He attended school there, received vocational training, and worked as a technician in a maquiladora (a foreign owned factory), where he earned the money to buy his first camera.  A self-taught photographer, in 1991 he moved back to Zacatecas to teach beginning photography at the Centro Cultural de Zacatecas.  Two years later he started his photojournalism career at the publications El Fronterizo and El Diario de Juárez.

In 1995, Cardona organized a group show called “Nada que ver” (Nothing to See), which contained the work of photojournalists who document the daily violence, death and poverty that accompanies life in Juárez.  Photographs of that show were featured in Harpers Magazine in 1996.  In 1998, Mr. Cardona’s work appeared in the book Juárez: The Laboratory of Our Future, which features essays by Charles Bowden, Noam Chomsky, and Eduardo Galeano.  Mr. Cardona’s photographs of the interior of maquiladoras in Juárez were also published in Aperture No. 159, “Camera of Dirt.” In 2008, the Lannan Foundation organized an exhibition, also titled The History of the Future, of photographs by both Cardona and artist Michael P. Berman, accompanied by an essay by Bowden. The exhibition traveled to the Santa Fe Art Institute (2008), the North Dakota Museum of Art (2009), Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (2009), Ohio Wesleyan University (2011), and Tulane University (2011). A selection from the show is now on view at the Nation Institute.

Mr. Cardona’s photographs have been featured in exhibits in Mexico, the United States, and Europe.

Artwork


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Paula Flores, mother of 17-year-old Sagrario González who was murdered in April 1998.

Paula Flores, mother of 17-year-old Sagrario González who was murdered in April 1998. On February 18, 2005, state police arrested José Luis Hernández Flores, a friend of Sagrario’s brother, and charged him with homicide. Hernández told the police that he had asked Sagrario to be his girlfriend but she turned him down. Later, he and a smuggler and another man kidnapped Sagrario, attacked her and disposed of her dead body in Loma Blanca, a desert area in the Juárez valley. In 2006, Paula’s husband, Jesús González, committed suicide. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, 1998. (from the special limited edition ‘Dreams & Nightmares’)

Size: 48 x 37 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> A massive dump site in the Upper Altar Valley, Arizona

A massive dump site in the Upper Altar Valley, Arizona; illegal immigrants meet representatives of their smugglers (coyotes) after a 40 mile walk through the desert; they are told to strip, dump their old clothes, packs and jugs of water, and put on new, more “American”-looking clothes before traveling on to an urban stash house. Upper Altar Valley, Arizona, 2006

Size: 42 x 63 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Young men and boys from southern Mêxico light votive candles and pray for a safe crossing

Young men and boys from southern Mêxico light votive candles and pray for a safe crossing before leaving the Sonoran town of Altar. Soon they will be loaded into vans and trucks and ferried north toward La Línea. Altar, Sonora, 2005 (from the special limited edition ‘Dreams & Nightmares’)

Size: 42 x 65 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> At sundown, hundreds of migrants march north in groups of twenty, hoping to cross the border

At sundown, hundreds of migrants march north in groups of twenty, hoping to cross the border. Each group is joined by a smuggler, whose identity is not revealed and who acts as a guide. Agua Prieta, Sonora, 2000 (from the special limited edition ‘Dreams & Nightmares’)

Size: 42 x 66 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Backpacks, jackets, shoes and gloves—on sale to immigrants in the main plaza. Altar, Sonora, 2005

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Dulce Yolanda Gálvez, 19, from Jonacatepec, Morelos, tried to reunite with her parents and two broth

Dulce Yolanda Gálvez, 19, from Jonacatepec, Morelos, tried to reunite with her parents and two brothers, who migrated to Minneapolis, Minnesota over an eight year period. Her aunt and cousin were in the same group attempting to cross through Las Chepas, near Palomas, Chihuahua. She almost died after being left behind by the group; a Border Patrol rescue team saved her life. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, 2006. (from the special limited edition ‘Dreams & Nightmares’)

Size: 42 x 66 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Colonia Estrella del Poniente, Cuidad Juárez, Chihuahua, 2003

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Felicitas Ruiz Ramos, 88, stands in front of the house built by her son Gerardo Pérez Ruiz

Felicitas Ruiz Ramos, 88, stands in front of the house built by her son Gerardo Pérez Ruiz, who lives in the United States. San Andrés Ixtlahuaca, Oaxaca, 2006

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Checkpoint. Hermosillo, Sonora, 2004

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Twenty-seven people, including women and children, leave Sásabe heading northeast into the Buenos Ai

Twenty-seven people, including women and children, leave Sásabe heading northeast into the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Daytime temperatures in the area reach 115 degrees. Sásabe, Sonora, 2004

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Julia Caldera searches for her daughter, María Elena.

Julia Caldera searches for her daughter, María Elena. In the background are the hills where Liliana Holguin’s body was dumped. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, 2000

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Sixto Méndez Goyazo, 14, from Chiapas, has never attended school.

Sixto Méndez Goyazo, 14, from Chiapas, has never attended school. He is illiterate, knows nothing of the U.S., nor where he is going to be taken to work after crossing the border at Sásabe. Sixto travels with his 32-year-old uncle Felipe Coyazo, a peasant who lost his livelihood in Chiapas due to uncompetitive Mexican corn prices under NAFTA. Sixto wants to work in U.S. to support his parents. Sásabe, Sonora, 2004

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Border Patrol agents detain 80 illegal immigrants near Bisbee, Arizona, 2000

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Jimmy Frías, age 17 months, U.S. citizen. His father is a soldier serving in Iraq. Phoenix, Arizona

Jimmy Frías, age 17 months, U.S. citizen. His father is a soldier serving in Iraq. Phoenix, Arizona, 2006

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Hermelando Ramírez died after a tree crushed him, October 21, 2006, while on the job for a logging

Hermelando Ramírez died after a tree crushed him, October 21, 2006, while on the job for a logging company in Eureka, California. Tierra Blanca, Oaxaca, 2006

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Telegraph office. Immigrants line up to receive money from relatives in the United States to pay for

Telegraph office. Immigrants line up to receive money from relatives in the United States to pay for the remainder of their journey. Altar, Sonora, 2005

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Minuteman patrols receive instructions on the rules of engagement at morning orientation near Palomi

Minuteman patrols receive instructions on the rules of engagement at morning orientation near Palominas Trading Post before traveling to border watch stations. Palominas, Arizona, 2005

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Immediately upon arriving on the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Beaumont, Texas, 13 roofing workers are

Immediately upon arriving on the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Beaumont, Texas, 13 roofing workers are employed to fix an apartment complex at W. Pine and Hill, in Gulfport. There is one Honduran in the group; the rest are from San Luis Potosí, in Central México. Gulfport, Mississippi, 2005

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> St. John the Baptist Day. Lamont, California, 2006 Fiesta patronal de San Juan Bautista. Lamont, Cal

St. John the Baptist Day. Lamont, California, 2006
Fiesta patronal de San Juan Bautista. Lamont, California, 2006

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Packed vans arrive at the border town of Sásabe from Altar, Sonora.

Packed vans arrive at the border town of Sásabe from Altar, Sonora. Estimates of the number of people crossing through the area vary from 1000 to 3000 daily, depending on the season. Sásabe, Sonora, 2003

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> National Day of Action for Immigrants’ Rights rally. Phoenix, Arizona, 2006

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Sisters of Sagrario González and friends of her church choir. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, 1998

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> A group of immigrants walks toward the border west of Agua Prieta. Agua Prieta, Sonora, 2000

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Minuteman Guadalupe Morfín, a first-generation American citizen from California, at her post along

Minuteman Guadalupe Morfín, a first-generation American citizen from California, at her post along the Border Highway near Naco, Arizona. Her father immigrated to the U.S. from México during the Bracero program. Naco, Arizona, 2005

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Immigrant rescued after eight days in the desert by residents of Arivaca, Arizona.

Immigrant rescued after eight days in the desert by residents of Arivaca, Arizona. He was taken to the Ark of the Covenant shelter, built near Arivaca by the “No More Deaths” movement. Arivaca, Arizona, 2004

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Daniel Lemus, from Colima, Mexico and his newborn American son, Daniel Jr. Daniel works in a flower

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Guadalupe, 2005

Size: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> The New Dispensation, 2005

Size: 19 1/4 x 12 3/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Oración, 2005

Size: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Food for the Journey, 2005

Size: 19 1/4 x 12 3/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Untitled (Woman on Horse), 2006

Size: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Untitled (Sleeping Woman), 2006

Size: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Untitled (Garbage), 2006

Size: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Untitled (Woman with U.S. Flag), 2006

Size: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Untitled (Children in Strollers), 2006

Size: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Untitled (Rally), 2006

Size: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection


|<br /><br /><em>(click to view large)</em> Untitled (Boy in Chair), 2006

Size: 12 3/4 x 19 1/4 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection



Julián Cardona elsewhere on Lannan.org

The History of the Future Travel and Advertising for Exhibition, (Art)
The History of the Future Exhibition, (Art)
Julián Cardona: Stardust Memories of the Calle Mariscal Publication, (Art)
Julián Cardona awarded 2004 Cultural Freedom Fellowship, (Cultural Freedom: Awards and Grants)
Julián Cardona, (Bios)