Estamos Buscando A
Paul Turounet’s Estamos Buscando A, is a multi-faceted series that explores and contemplates the migrant experience along the U.S.–Mexico border through a large site-specific installation in MOCA’s Great Hall.
The series started as a site-specific, public art installation with intimate photographic portraits of migrants waiting to cross that were printed on large-scale steel plates and installed on the border wall in Tijuana between the Pacific Ocean and the San Ysidro Port of Entry. By permanently affixing the steel plate photographs to the border wall in Mexico, the retablos served not only as signs of respect and as homage to those photographed, but also as spiritual signs for other migrants who would come upon them while making their own enduring journeys. In 2005, sections of the original border wall that had been constructed in the mid-1990’s were salvaged with the demolition and rebuilding of the wall at Friendship Park/El Parque de la Amistad at Border Field State Park between Tijuana, Mexico and San Ysidro, California. These salvaged sections of the border wall will be used for a large scale, immersive gallery installation at MOCA Tucson through the construction of a 12’ x 64’, free-standing wall to encompass both sides of the border experience, complete with dirt and rocks, various ephemeral objects left behind in the desert, and a series of aluminum-plate photographic portraits of migrants and the border landscape created by Turounet. The U.S. side of the installation will be based on preliminary conceptual approaches to an RFP issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection in the Spring of 2017.
Paul Turounet received his MFA in Photography from Yale University and has been awarded a Fulbright
Fellowship and grants from the Trans-Border Institute for his continued work on the U.S.–Mexico
border. This work, including Estamos Buscando A, Bajo La Luna Verde and Tierra Brava, considers
the psychology and culture of the U.S.–Mexico border exclusively in Mexico. Turounet’s work has been
presented at the University of Arizona Museum of Art, the Center for Creative Photography, the Phoenix
Museum of Art, Aperture, the Ogden Museum, and the Museo de Arte El Chamizal in Juarez to name
just a few. His 2016 book Estamos Buscando A was a runner-up for the 2016 Paris Photo–
Aperture Foundation First PhotoBook Award, and was listed as one of the New York Times “Best Photo
Books of 2016”. He is currently represented by jdc Fine Art.