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"In the Roman Catholic Tradition 'Limbo' is the supposed abode of the souls of un-baptized infants and of the just who died before Christ. The word explains also an intermediate state or condition of awaiting a decision. I have always been living in a sort of limbo. Two parallel worlds coexisting, one defined by the country I lived in, the other residing in my dreams and heart." —Hector Mata


Hector Mata decided to walk and photograph one of the places where his two worlds collide: the border between the U.S. and Mexico, showing a collection of personal belongs found on immigrant's paths and roads in the Arizona desert, and videos made of immigrants on their journey north. The resulting series, Limbo, uses the border as a metaphor for separation. In a world in constant change and with populations shifting places at a rapid pace, the sense of belonging (to a country, to a culture), and the concept of identity are being redefined constantly.


This image is part of the Aperture Portfolio Prize Print Series. To encourage the collection of work by emerging artists, Aperture offers special limited-edition prints by the winner and runners-up of the Aperture Portfolio Prize, selected each summer by Aperture's editorial and curatorial staff. Proceeds from the sales of these prints will benefit both the artist and Aperture Foundation. 


Hector Mata (b. 1963) moved to the U.S. from Peru over a decade ago, after living in Russia for four years. He was a staff photographer for Agence France-Presse from 1991–2007. Mata is now an independent photographer and filmmaker, whose work has been exhibited at the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art, among other venues. 

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