Rio Grande

Photographs by Mari Kon
Interview via emails, April 2016

El Paso - Ciudad Juárez is a metropolitan area that rests along the Southern border of Texas and the Northern State of Chihuahua. A river separates the United States and Mexico. Bridges connect the worlds on either side.

The region has long served as a gateway. In the 17th century, the Franciscan Friar García de San Francisco founded Ciudad Juárez as "Paso del Norte," or, "North Pass," in search of a route through the Southern Rocky Mountains, and in 2008 the City of El Paso documented over 22 million crossings here. For many in the region, the two cities exist as a greater urban area, where communities and families blend beyond both sides of the border.

It has only been in the last decade that the two halves have become more isolated, in part a result of violence caused by drug cartels, in part a result of increased border security.

On a road trip through the Southwest in 2011, Mari Kon became fascinated with the landscape here, returning a few years later to develop this photography project. Her interest exists in the natural and constructed landscapes that create a physical border while at the same time emphasize the intangible quality of one.

With a sense of stillness, Mari investigates the fluid nature of where one place ends and another begins.