To act in a telenovela, Erik Estrada once said you only need to know the story; the lines are fed to you. In our mediated reality, images of Mexico follow similar lines: talking heads repeating emotionally charged and clumsy narratives, tweaking the script to suit their interests.
Four photographers challenge, amplify, or contextualize those narratives in Beyond the Fence, an exhibition exploring the complexity of U.S.-Mexico border issues. Border patrol agents, drug smugglers, government officials, and undocumented workers strut and fret their horas on a stage of cultural clashes and environmental fallout. Many ghosts haunt these actors, including the collateral damage of the drug war, the economic and social pressures driving migration, and the personal tragedies assailing communities and households.
A public lecture by two of the photographers starts at 7 p.m. at Katzin Concert Hall, 40 East Gammage Parkway in Tempe.