The Maude Kerns Art Center presents Transcending Borders, on view April 9 – 30, featuring a collaboration of unique word/image pairings by poet Laura Winter and photographer Terri Warpinski; a series of evocative photographs by Marcus DeSieno exploring the idea of state surveillance; and a group of striking black and white portrait photographs of workers in Oaxaca, Mexico by Richard Keis.
Local artist Terri Warpinski and Portland, Oregon poet Laura Winter present work from a collaborative project called Liminal Matter, encompassing two series, “Fences” and “Traces,” word/image pairings that explore the political and psychological ramifications of the US/Mexico borderlands conflict. Warpinski’s stark photographs record the sweeping landscapes and big skies of the border country and the physical evidence of the political conflict, including the haunting artifacts left behind. Winter’s poetry tells the story behind each image, revealing the impact these borders have on the people who live in their shadows. “Together the words and images present a contemplative experience of these imposing physical, political and psychological divides.” Terri Warpinski is a Professor Emerita of Art at the University of Oregon whose work has been shown internationally in more than a hundred exhibitions. Laura Winter is the author of numerous collections of poetry, broadsides, and performance projects.
Washington artist Marcus DeSieno exhibits photographs from a body of work called “No Man’s Land: Views from a Surveillance State,” in which he explores the intersection of land, borders, and power. To produce this work, he hacked into surveillance cameras and CCTV feeds looking for images of picturesque and sublime landscapes. By exploiting the technology of clandestine surveillance, DeSieno hopes to highlight and call into question this type of social control. He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at the Aperture Foundation in New York, Paris Photo, The Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and many other galleries and museums.
Corvallis photographer Richard Keis exhibits black and white photographs of working people in Oaxaca, Mexico, from a series titled Livelihoods. Keis’s interest in culture and languages and his work with migrant families in Oregon first led him to Oaxaca. There he learned about those who made the decision to stay in their native land rather than migrate north. His subjects are weavers, sculptors, feather artists, mezcal producers, and curanderas (folk healers). They are talented, hardworking people whose occupations are in danger of disappearing. Keis says: “It is my hope that these photographs can help document and preserve ways of life that define Mexicans as a people and as a nation.”