Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jan Banning Photographs in the South

The Atlanta Celebrates Photography blog brings word that well-known Dutch photographer Jan Banning is engaged in a long-term project photographing homeless people in the South.

Banning began this project while Artist-in-Residence in September and October of 2010 at the  701 Center for Contemporary Art in Columbia, SC. He has since expanded the scope of his practice, beginning to make portraits of homeless people in Atlanta and, Banning says, "possibly, the Mississippi Delta: a big city and a small-town “habitat,” next to the medium-sized city of Columbia."

You can find a small sample of Banning's portraits, as well as more information on this project here. 

Banning is best known for his portfolio Bureaucratics,  a series of environmental portraits of bureaucrats in their offices. His work, both in Bureaucratics and in these Southern portraits, witness to the continuing power the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher and their typological school has among contemporary fine art photographers.

Banning says his goal in this project is to portray "these people not as what they are: homeless, with all visual references of destitution that society associates with that such as bagpacks, shopping carts, tents and sleeping bags, etc., but by focusing on who they are."  His hope is that his work "will contribute to a better understanding of the fate of the homeless."

Once complete in 2011, this work will be published and exhibited in Columbia. It promises to be a compelling show.

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