The artist Zoe Leonard will present a work in progress titled Al Rio/To the River and will engage in conversation about the project with curator José Esparza Chong Cuy.
Al Rio/To the River is a large-scale photographic project centered on the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo, in particular the 1,200-mile section of the river that is used to demarcate the international boundary between Mexico and the United States. Begun in 2016 and currently still a work in progress, the work engages in a sustained observation of the water, surrounding landscape, and built environment, including the towns, cities, factories, and infrastructure projects—dams, levees, bridges, irrigation trenches, pipelines, fences, gates, border checkpoints, and detention facilities—built alongside, over, and through the riverbed. Viewed from multiple vantage points, the river is considered as a natural feature, a water resource, a political border, and an inhabited region. The project considers layered histories, complex relationships, and the interconnectedness of life on both sides of the watershed.
The completed work will be exhibited at Mudam, Luxembourg, and Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2022, with an accompanying publication.