Zoe Leonard’s Al río / To the River opens this weekend at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA Australia), the first major exhibition of the internationally renowned artist’s work in the Southern Hemisphere.
Over a period of five years, beginning in 2016, Zoe Leonard (b. 1961, Liberty, US) photographed along the 2,000 km stretch where the Rio Grande/Río Bravo is used to demarcate the international boundary between Mexico and the United States, following the river from the border cities of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, to the Gulf of Mexico.
International ongoing exhibitions
Epic in scale, Al río / To the River results from close observation of both the natural and built environments shaped by and surrounding the river; from desert and mountains to cities, towns and small villages where daily life unfolds in tandem with agriculture, commerce, industry, policing, and surveillance.
While the exhibition is anchored to the geographic, social, economic and political realities of this extended region of the Americas, Leonard’s visual meditation on the river resonates with the urgent subjects of borders and migration around the world. Al río / To the River engages with conversations happening in Australia and elsewhere about the impact of human industry and commerce on the natural world, climate change and colonialism on First Nations communities.
The exhibition is curated by Suzanne Cotter, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and MCA Australia Curator Megan Robson. Designer Marcos Corrales Lantero, a long-
Al río / To the River draws our attention to the impossibility of binary thinking in a world defined by complexity and in need of empathy.
The exhibition is accompanied by a two-
Zoe Leonard: Al río / To the River is organised by the MCA Australia in association with Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-
Exhibition 11 August -
Zoe Leonard, Al río / To the River (detail), 2016–2022. Gelatin silver prints, C-
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