J.PAUL GETTY MUSUEM – Getty Center “New Walled Order”

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the breach of the Berlin Wall The J.Paul Getty Museum organizing a conference with scholars and artists to reflect on the social impact of walls and barriers. I will speak about the role of art in mediating and ameliorating the presence of the American Wall.

Wed Sep 17 2014, Posted in News from the Collection

Charles Bowden, Author With Unblinking Eye on Southwest, Dies at 69

Charles Bowden, an author and journalist acclaimed for his vivid, unsparing and often lyrical portrayals of life in the Southwest, particularly the brutality on the border between the United States and Mexico, died on Saturday in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 69.

Charles Bowden, an author and journalist acclaimed for his vivid, unsparing and o

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Wed Sep 17 2014, Posted in News from the Collection

Polka Magazine

De son travail de documentation, Maurice Sherif a fait un ouvrage. Plutôt un objet. Le coffret contient deux volumes grand format d’un poids total de neuf kilos. Le premier est visuel. Des cartes, réalisées spécialement pour ce projet, introduisent chaque chapitre qui reprend, pour titre, le nom de l’Etat le long duquel s’étend le mur. Imprimés en quatre tons mais en noir et blanc, les photos sont pleine page, en diptyque, voire en triptyque. Frontales, violentes et esthétiques, les images du mur, sous ses différentes formes, sont toutes prises vers midi, au pire moment de la journée. A près de 50°C, sous un soleil de plomb, la lumière est dure. Sur certaines images, le film –le Polaroid 55 PN– se liquéfie. Malgré la température, Maurice Sherif tient bon. Cela fait partie du sujet, de l’ambiance et de la réalité du mur. Les lieux sont sans vie. Un panneau dans l’Arizona indique “Watch for animals” [“Attention aux animaux”]. Sur ces terres inhospitalières, la mort n’est jamais loin. Les associations pour la défense des droits de l’homme ont recensé près de 5.600 décès depuis 1998.

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Thu Aug 15 2013, Posted in News from the Collection

Zocalo Public Square

The wall creates an illusion of separateness; it is centuries late for that. In the shorter term, it creates the illusion of a fix for a flood of undocumented workers; it is decades late for that. An erratic scar running through common ground, the wall makes a stark statement. It reflects a disquiet with our own history and destiny. In the long run, however, it will need plenty of doors to lure in workers from elsewhere–and well beyond Mexico.

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Mon May 14 2012, Posted in News from the Collection

Tucson Weekly

Something clicked in my brain: I stupidly realized I was missing the whole point—I was supposed to be ofended. This giant ugly slab of paper and cloth-covered cardboard is itself meant to be a work of art—a complex psycho-visual, experiential metaphor for the U.S-Mexico border wall. The work could be seen (with apologies to Pink Floyd) as “just another brick in the wall.” Wow.

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Thu Apr 5 2012, Posted in News from the Collection

Los Angeles Times

An ominous barrier meanders through a remote landscape appearing to float across the desert sands, reminiscent of a stark, modern-day Great Wall of China. The structure is not filled with ancient wonder but rather conjures up the controversy and hostility associated with the Berlin Wall. This barricade is the American wall that divides the U.S.-Mexico border.

Since 2006, fine art photographer Maurice Sherif has spent sweltering days documenting the wall that hopscotches 2,000 miles from the Pacific Ocean in California to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. His collection of 96 photos, along with essays from scholars, can be viewed in his giant two-volume book, “The American Wall” (MS Zephyr Publishing).

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Tue Jan 10 2012, Posted in News from the Collection

Mountain Gazette

About a year ago, I was three or four hundred yards from the wall in a National Forest when a military drone lazed by a few hundred feet above the ground. The aircraft was almost silent and directed by men sitting in a control room many miles away in Fort Huachuca, the U.S. Army intelligence center. They were hunting poor people — men, women, and children. The summer day felt fresh because of recent rain, the hills glowed with green, and a small canyon with water tumbling across its rock bottom sliced south to Mexico. I was standing on American ground and staring into the face of American dread.

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Tue Dec 6 2011, Posted in News from the Collection

The Texas Tribune

the wall’s structure in Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico. In some places the wall resembles a non-threatening collection of steel poles on a beach, in others a foreboding 18-foot-high, triple-layer fence between two countries that purport to be allies. Accompanying the photography is a collection of essays, written by people like South Texas College professor Scott Nicol, UT Law School professor Denise Gilman, and author and journalist Charles Bowden. Sherif spoke with the Tribune this week in advance of his appearance at the 2011 Texas Book Festival in Austin, where he will explain what motivated him to document the historic event, which he believes will only serve to tarnish the image of the United States.

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Fri Oct 21 2011, Posted in News from the Collection

Texas Monthly

Meanwhile the reality of this wall remains. For those south of the border, lives of quiet desperation will persist as will the impulse to chance death in the desert for the opportunity to find a new life on the other side. To the north some will entertain the illusion of security and separation from those feared as outsiders or enemies, the “others” who have no rights, who have been repelled and denied not only access, but also their humanity.

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Tue Mar 15 2011, Posted in News from the Collection

High Country News

In its ungainly proportions, Maurice Sherif’s The American Wall mimics its massive subject, the U.S.-Mexico border fence. The “book” is actually two giant volumes enclosed in a slipcase. Heft one onto a table and if you don’t strain your back, you’ll struggle to make out the distant text at the top of a page. But largely because of its format, The American Wall offers readers a rare perspective onto a piece of public infrastructure that has generally defied such a panoptic view.

The full extent of the barrier can be tough to grasp. Construction ramped up in the wake of the Secure Fence Act of 2006. Since then, the wall has been built and rebuilt in a patchwork of styles ranging from Normandy-esque vehicle barricades to metal pillars 20 feet tall. But since the fence is deployed in segments across more than 650 miles of largely rural terrain, most Americans have yet to glimpse it, let alone assemble a sense of the thing as a whole.

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Thu Feb 10 2011, Posted in News from the Collection

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