Stephen Wilkes: Nurses’ Quar­ters, Is­land 3 1998, Cibachrome print

Pasatiempo - - IN THE WINGS -

Mon­roe Gallery of Pho­tography, 112 Don Gas­par Ave., 505-992-0800 The de­scen­dants of im­mi­grants who passed through El­lis Is­land be­tween 1892 and its clos­ing in 1954 num­ber in the tens of mil­lions. The rooms that har­bored them as they were be­ing pro­cessed through the im­mi­gra­tion cen­ter now sit empty and des­o­late, given over to the decay of more than half a cen­tury. The ex­hi­bi­tion El­lis Is­land: Ghosts of Our An­ces­tors marks the 20th an­niver­sary of pho­tog­ra­pher Stephen Wilkes’ con­tem­po­rary portraits of the aban­doned build­ings on the is­land’s south­ern side. He be­gan the se­ries in 1998 and spent the next five years cap­tur­ing the im­mi­gra­tion cen­ter’s in­te­rior as well as its ad­join­ing hospi­tal. The se­ries is a timely re­minder, in an age of fierce de­bate over im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy, that im­mi­grants from many na­tions form an in­deli­ble part of the fab­ric of Amer­ica. The show con­tin­ues through Nov. 18.

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