Julián Cardona

photo of Julián Cardona

I make these photographs to show the faces of men and women and children who find their way across these borders to service this economy based on massive consumption. In a flat world, the only frontier left to conquer may be the empty space inside of ourselves, and for some reason, we try to fill that space with goods and entertainments. The millions of migrants who come to do the work also settle this frontier. They are the fathers and mothers of the new Americans. Blood will tell. –J.C.

Julián Cardona, born in Zacatecas, Mexico, was a small child when his family moved to Juárez. He attended school there, received vocational training, and worked as a technician in a maquiladora (a foreign owned factory), where he earned the money to buy his first camera.  A self-taught photographer, in 1991 he moved back to Zacatecas to teach beginning photography at the Centro Cultural de Zacatecas.  Two years later he started his photojournalism career at the publications El Fronterizo and El Diario de Juárez.

In 1995, Cardona organized a group show called “Nada que ver” (Nothing to See), which contained the work of photojournalists who document the daily violence, death and poverty that accompanies life in Juárez.  Photographs of that show were featured in Harpers Magazine in 1996.  In 1998, Mr. Cardona’s work appeared in the book Juárez: The Laboratory of Our Future, which features essays by Charles Bowden, Noam Chomsky, and Eduardo Galeano.  Mr. Cardona’s photographs of the interior of maquiladoras in Juárez were also published in Aperture No. 159, “Camera of Dirt.” In 2008, the Lannan Foundation organized an exhibition, also titled The History of the Future, of photographs by both Cardona and artist Michael P. Berman, accompanied by an essay by Bowden. The exhibition traveled to the Santa Fe Art Institute (2008), the North Dakota Museum of Art (2009), Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (2009), Ohio Wesleyan University (2011), and Tulane University (2011). A selection from the show is now on view at the Nation Institute.

Mr. Cardona’s photographs have been featured in exhibits in Mexico, the United States, and Europe.

Julián Cardona elsewhere on Lannan.org

The History of the Future Travel and Advertising for Exhibition , (Art)
The History of the Future Exhibition , (Art)
Julián Cardona: Stardust Memories of the Calle Mariscal Publication , (Art)
Julián Cardona awarded 2004 Cultural Freedom Fellowship , (Cultural Freedom: Awards and Grants)
Julián Cardona , (Bios)

Artworks



Paula Flores Mother 17 Year Old Julian Cardona

Paula Flores, mother of 17-year-old Sagrario González who was murdered in April 1998.

Paula Flores, mother of 17-year-old Sagrario González who was murdered in April 1998. On February 18, 2005, state police arrested José Luis Hernández Flores, a friend of Sagrario’s brother, and charged him with homicide. Hernández told the police that he had asked Sagrario to be his girlfriend but she turned him down. Later, he and a smuggler and another man kidnapped Sagrario, attacked her and disposed of her dead body in Loma Blanca, a desert area in the Juárez valley. In 2006, Paula’s husband, Jesús González, committed suicide. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, 1998. (from the special limited edition ‘Dreams & Nightmares’)

Size: 48 x 37 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

A Massive Dump Site Julian Cardona

A massive dump site in the Upper Altar Valley, Arizona

A massive dump site in the Upper Altar Valley, Arizona; illegal immigrants meet representatives of their smugglers (coyotes) after a 40 mile walk through the desert; they are told to strip, dump their old clothes, packs and jugs of water, and put on new, more “American”-looking clothes before traveling on to an urban stash house. Upper Altar Valley, Arizona, 2006

Size: 42 x 63 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Young Men And Boys From Southern Mexico Julian Cardona

Young men and boys from southern Mêxico light votive candles and pray for a safe crossing

Young men and boys from southern Mêxico light votive candles and pray for a safe crossing before leaving the Sonoran town of Altar. Soon they will be loaded into vans and trucks and ferried north toward La Línea. Altar, Sonora, 2005 (from the special limited edition ‘Dreams & Nightmares’)

Size: 42 x 65 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

At Sundown Hundres Migrants March North Julian Cardona

At sundown, hundreds of migrants march north in groups of twenty, hoping to cross the border

At sundown, hundreds of migrants march north in groups of twenty, hoping to cross the border. Each group is joined by a smuggler, whose identity is not revealed and who acts as a guide. Agua Prieta, Sonora, 2000 (from the special limited edition ‘Dreams & Nightmares’)

Size: 42 x 66 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Backpacks Jackets Shoes Gloves On Sale Julian Cardona

Backpacks, jackets, shoes and gloves—on sale to immigrants in the main plaza. Altar, Sonora, 2005

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Dulce Yolanda Galvez 19 Julian Cardona

Dulce Yolanda Gálvez, 19, from Jonacatepec, Morelos, tried to reunite with her parents and two broth

Dulce Yolanda Gálvez, 19, from Jonacatepec, Morelos, tried to reunite with her parents and two brothers, who migrated to Minneapolis, Minnesota over an eight year period. Her aunt and cousin were in the same group attempting to cross through Las Chepas, near Palomas, Chihuahua. She almost died after being left behind by the group; a Border Patrol rescue team saved her life. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, 2006. (from the special limited edition ‘Dreams & Nightmares’)

Size: 42 x 66 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Colonia Estrella Del Poniente Julian Cardona

Colonia Estrella del Poniente, Cuidad Juárez, Chihuahua, 2003

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Felicitas Ruiz Ramos 88 Stands Julian Cardova

Felicitas Ruiz Ramos, 88, stands in front of the house built by her son Gerardo Pérez Ruiz

Felicitas Ruiz Ramos, 88, stands in front of the house built by her son Gerardo Pérez Ruiz, who lives in the United States. San Andrés Ixtlahuaca, Oaxaca, 2006

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Checkpoint Hermosill Sonora Julian Cardona

Checkpoint. Hermosillo, Sonora, 2004

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Twenty Seven Children Including Women Julian Cardona

Twenty-seven people, including women and children, leave Sásabe heading northeast into the Buenos Ai

Twenty-seven people, including women and children, leave Sásabe heading northeast into the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. Daytime temperatures in the area reach 115 degrees. Sásabe, Sonora, 2004

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection