“Lines & Lineage” and “Divided” at Photaumnales

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The Photaumnales festival is exhibiting Tomas van Houtryve’s Lines and Lineage prints and Divided video installation.

Divided video installation

On view through January 3, 2021
Exhibition: FLUX, the discreet and the continuous
Le Quadrilatère
22 rue Saint-Pierre
60000 Beauvais
France

Since Baja and Alta California were divided by the seizure of Mexican land by the United States military in 1848, a political boundary has jutted into the Pacific Ocean. Over the years, the border has been reinforced from a simple line to a fence to a steel barrier. This single-channel video installation focuses on the timeless repetition of lines of waves as they crash perpendicular into the barrier. The collision of waves is mesmerizing, and we notice unified lines of waves that are divided in two.

Lines and Lineage solo exhibition

November 5 – December 17, 2020
Espace Matisse
101/119 rue JB Carpeaux
60100 Creil
France

Lines and Lineage takes aim at America’s collective amnesia of history. The work addresses the missing photographic record of the period when Mexico ruled what we now know as the American West. To visualize the people and places from the remarkable yet unseen Mexican era, I chose to photograph the region with glass plates and a 19th-century wooden camera. Portraits of direct descendants of early inhabitants of the West—mestizo, Afro-Latin, indigenous, Crypto-Jewish—are paired with photographs of landscapes inside the original border and architecture from the Mexican period. Lines and Lineage lifts the pervasive fog of dominant Western mythology and makes us question the role that photographs—both present and missing—have played in shaping the identity of the West.