Wednesday, June 30, 2010

John Bennette's Exploration of Southern Photography

Alabama native and New York photography collector John Bennette is planning a special exhibition to be part of this year's Slow Exposures photography festival in Pike County, Georgia. John is planning this exhibition to explore basic questions about southern photography, including matters of influence, subject matter, feeling, light, shadow, and ambiance. He is interested in the persistence of "southernness" for one who has left and yet returns.

Here's John on the issues as he sees them:

"Are most contemporary photographers of the south haunted by Christenberry, Evans, and McLaughlin or is something else at work? The land itself is a character that overwhelms and seems always ready for its moment. You cannot get away from history. Memories are soaked into the land and the people who dwell on that land. It is easy to fall into dreams and reverie. Looking at southern light and shadows summon shifting memories; sight exposes you to voices from the past"

John has announced the following photographers as the core of folks around whom the show will center, though others will be added as the opening of thee exhibit draws near. This list includes Southerners engaged in photgrpahy as well as nonSoutherners who have made photographs in the South.

One image that might make it into this show is Brenda Fayard's image Proud Ride (pictured above).  All these folks are worthy photographers with websites worth exploring for a sense of what John is getting at with this show.
John's show opens at the Whiskey Bonding Barn in Pike County on September 17th, 2010. We will revisit this topic when John's show list is released to see what sense of the "Southern" in photography John comes up with.

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