Estamos Buscando A
October 7 - December 31, 2017
Reception: Saturday, October 7
Members Preview: 7 – 8 pm | Public Reception: 8-9pm
Artist's Talk: Saturday, October 7 | 10 - 11 am Great Hall
Paul Turounet is interested in storytelling, perspective, and the space between places, emotions, or states; the tension in his work often emerges from the gaps exposed. Estamos Buscando A (We're Looking For) is a photo-driven installation that examines the psychology of the US|MX border. It is composed of recovered border wall, intimate portraits of migrants on metal plates that the Artist calls retablos, 50 tons of earth, and found objects such as backpacks and tire-drags.
This project has evolved through time. Initially imagined as a site-specivic project, the Artist photographed Migrants in the field with large-format positive/negative Polaroid materials. He would process the negative in the field and give the Migrant the resulting print. Back in the in darkroom, the negatives were used to print portraits on steel plates coated with a gelatin silver emulsion. The names of each Migrant and their home state in Mexico were carved into the steel. These 30-pound plates were then attached to the wall where the Artist had encountered the Migrant.
The Artist adapted the work to fit a gallery space after he was able to salvage about 10 x 60 feet of fencing. The gallery-adapted version of Estamos Buscando A (it also exists as a handmade photo-book and a few referent border fragments) has shown in full at University spaces including the Arizona Museum of Art in Tucson, AZ (2011), the Mesa College Art Gallery in San Diego, CA (2013), and the New Mexico University Art Gallery in Las Cruces, NM (2015). The installation the Artist is preparing for MOCA Tucson is far more ambitions than any other rendition so far.