Geek of the Day: Alejandro Cartagena
U.S sure has many great things to offer. Not only in pop culture, but also in every sector we all care about. Like health, security, economy (huh, not sure about that!) In short, U.S is selling what they have as an ‘American Dream’, which is sweet at first to attract millions of new workers and intellects, but not really great after decades of newcomers that slowly become a burden. No, I mean it. Sometimes I read politics too instead of Balenciaga’s works (although I have to admit, fashion is never a burden!)
I am trying not to judge in this matter and to proof my words, I have been studying Monterrey, Mexico based photographer called Alejandro Cartagena. His best subjects are social, environmental and urban issues, which are truly present in his latest projects called ‘Born in the USA’ and ‘Carpoolers.’ Both projects tell the same story. A life between the borders of USA and Mexico (he photographed them from the Mexican’s point of view, I think.)
The only difference is in ‘Born in the USA’ we get portraits of people who live between Mexico and U.S, right near the border, which is pretty much sad and filled with dark thoughts about the future, at least that’s what it looks like for me. The ‘Carpoolers’ on the other hand, gives an aerial view of cars and trucks carrying immigrants, probably illegal ones, on the back of the open trucks.
They surprisingly look normal curling and trying to sleep on the rough plastic surface of the trucks, maybe because they look almost similar with your gardeners, mechanics, and seamstresses? That’s true, they’re the sole reason why you have all that services right written down inside your yellow book (including your favorite Mexican restaurant drive-thru.)
I may not be the best immigrant specialist (is there anything such as an immigrant-specialist? Urban-specialist?) or sociologist here, but I wonder can we do something about ‘American Dream’ thing? Yes, U.S is debatably one of the most successful countries, but not everyone can gets it’s infamous luck. U.S is just the same jungle we all have in our own country. That’s a more appropriate message to put out there.
One thing though… don’t let the truth ruins your own dream.
Your own, not America’s.
Darn, I get too cheesy again, don’t I?
P.S: If you want to look the exhibitions with your own eyes, you better go here:
Alejandro Cartagena’s Carpoolers is on show at the Houston Fine Art Fair on September 19th-22nd 2013 and Paris Photo on November 14th-17th 2013.
Images taken from Dazed Digital and Alejandro Cartagena (‘Born in the USA’ (in progress) and ‘Carpoolers’).