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



Julia Caldera Searches For Her Daughter Julian Cardona

Julia Caldera searches for her daughter, María Elena.

Julia Caldera searches for her daughter, María Elena. In the background are the hills where Liliana Holguin’s body was dumped. Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, 2000

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Sixto Mendez Goyazo 14 Julian Cardona

Sixto Méndez Goyazo, 14, from Chiapas, has never attended school.

Sixto Méndez Goyazo, 14, from Chiapas, has never attended school. He is illiterate, knows nothing of the U.S., nor where he is going to be taken to work after crossing the border at Sásabe. Sixto travels with his 32-year-old uncle Felipe Coyazo, a peasant who lost his livelihood in Chiapas due to uncompetitive Mexican corn prices under NAFTA. Sixto wants to work in U.S. to support his parents. Sásabe, Sonora, 2004

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Border Patrol Agents Detain 80 Julian Cardona

Border Patrol agents detain 80 illegal immigrants near Bisbee, Arizona, 2000

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Jimmy Frias Age 17 Months Us Citizen Julian Cardona

Jimmy Frías, age 17 months, U.S. citizen. His father is a soldier serving in Iraq. Phoenix, Arizona

Jimmy Frías, age 17 months, U.S. citizen. His father is a soldier serving in Iraq. Phoenix, Arizona, 2006

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Hermelando Ramirez Dies After Atree Crushed Him Julian Cardona

Hermelando Ramírez died after a tree crushed him, October 21, 2006, while on the job for a logging

Hermelando Ramírez died after a tree crushed him, October 21, 2006, while on the job for a logging company in Eureka, California. Tierra Blanca, Oaxaca, 2006

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Telegraph Office Immigrants Line Up Julian Cardona

Telegraph office. Immigrants line up to receive money from relatives in the United States to pay for

Telegraph office. Immigrants line up to receive money from relatives in the United States to pay for the remainder of their journey. Altar, Sonora, 2005

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Minuteman Patrols Receive Julian Cardona

Minuteman patrols receive instructions on the rules of engagement at morning orientation near Palomi

Minuteman patrols receive instructions on the rules of engagement at morning orientation near Palominas Trading Post before traveling to border watch stations. Palominas, Arizona, 2005

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Immediately Upon Arriving On The Mississippi Gulf Julian Cardona

Immediately upon arriving on the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Beaumont, Texas, 13 roofing workers are

Immediately upon arriving on the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Beaumont, Texas, 13 roofing workers are employed to fix an apartment complex at W. Pine and Hill, in Gulfport. There is one Honduran in the group; the rest are from San Luis Potosí, in Central México. Gulfport, Mississippi, 2005

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

St John Baptist Day Lamont 2006 Julian Cardona

St. John the Baptist Day. Lamont, California, 2006 Fiesta patronal de San Juan Bautista. Lamont, Cal

St. John the Baptist Day. Lamont, California, 2006
Fiesta patronal de San Juan Bautista. Lamont, California, 2006

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection

Packed Vans Arrive Border Town Sasabe Julian Cardona

Packed vans arrive at the border town of Sásabe from Altar, Sonora.

Packed vans arrive at the border town of Sásabe from Altar, Sonora. Estimates of the number of people crossing through the area vary from 1000 to 3000 daily, depending on the season. Sásabe, Sonora, 2003

Size: 20 x 24 inches
Medium: Gelatin silver print

Current Lannan Art Collection