Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Southern Photographers in Critical Mass

The folks who run Critical Mass, the photography talent search run annually by Photo Lucida, have announced the Finalists for 2011.

Go HERE for the complete list.

Good to see some familiar Southern names among the Finalists, including Hollis Bennett (see image above), Lori Vrba, and Susan Worsham. 

If I missed you, or someone you know who qualifies as a Southern photographer, please let me know so I can keep track.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Things to Come, Part Two -- More Shows To Watch Out For in Fall 2011

More Announcements of Forthcoming Photography Shows in the South

Kathleen Robbins will open a show of her images from the Mississippi Delta from her Into the Flatland portfolio on September 6th at the Beard + Riser Studios, at 201 Main Street, in Greenwood, Mississippi. Robbins' images have an elegance and richness that both complements and scrutinizes the Mississippi landscape. If you are in this part of Mississippi, this is a can't miss kind of show. 

Eliot Dudik will open a show of his landscape photographs at a gallery called Art + Cayce, at1329 State Street, in Cayce, SC,  on September 9th. The gallery calls his images "bucolic," though I'm not sure someone who offers us a photograph of a lake filled with large truck tires a "bucolic" photographer. First-class photographer, yes; photographer attuned to the ironies of Southern rural life, yes; bucolic, well, maybe. 

Jennifer Schwartz Gallery in Atlanta is opening a show of landscape photography on September 10th, including work by several Southern photographers, including William Boling, Debbie Flemming Caffery, Susan Hadorn, Tom Rankin, and Kathleen Robbins.

Laura Noel is opening a major show of new work called Subject Matters: Laura Noel New Work, with an opening reception Thursday, September 15th from 6 until 9 pm at the Spruill Gallery in Atlanta's Spruill Arts Center, at 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, in Atlanta, GA.

Part of this show will be an installation of To-Do lists, and Laura is asking for contributions. She needs 1,100 lists and has only 800+ at the moment. So, if you want to be part of Laura's show, send her your old To-Do list to Laura Noel, c/o Visual Arts Department & Gallery, Emory University, 700 Peavine Creek Drive, Atlanta, GA  30322.

And of course, SlowExposures is also about to open in Concord, GA, south of Atlanta, on September 16th, at 1:00 pm, in the R. F. Strickland Building. Events run through September 25th. 

The opening of SlowExposures includes an expanding array of festive events, including a big Soiree on Friday night, September 16th, a portfolio review on Saturday the 17th, the SlowExposures Ball on Saturday night, and lunch with Sylvia Plachy on Sunday the 18th.

For a list of this year's photographers in the SlowExposures show, go HERE.

There will also be the second in the series of John Bennette’s curated shows on the theme "southern Memories," up at the Whiskey Bonding Barn, also opening on September 16th, and this year featuring work, chiefly portraits, by Dave Anderson, Paul Conlan, Malgorzata Florkowska, Gary Gruby, Jessica Hines, Sarah Hoskins, Jane Robbins Kerr, Joanna Knox, Kendall Messick, Donna Rosser, Jerry Siegel, Marilyn Suriani, Jo Lynn Still, and Hai Zhang.

Raleigh's own David Simonton will be a featured artist this year at SlowExposures with his own show at 
A Novel Experience Bookstore, on the square in Zebulon, GA.

SlowExposures brings us closer to the Daddy Rabbit of Southern photography festivals, Atlanta Celebrates Photography, opening in Atlanta on October 1st. Much more about ACP later. 

In the meantime, much great work to see, pretty much wherever you are in the South this fall.  

Friday, August 26, 2011

Deborah Luster in One One Thousand

New Orleans-based photographer Deborah Luster is the latest artist to be featured in the on-line ezine One One Thousand, with a selection of photographs from her Tooth for an Eye portfolio.

Luster's images in this portfolio are of empty lots, railroad trestles, barren bedrooms, alleyways, and drainage ditches. The images seem to have disparate subjects, but they are linked by the fact that they all document places where people have died, and died violently. 

Luster is best known for her portfolio One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana, images made in several of Louisiana's prisons, including the infamous Angola Prison. These images present people cut off from society for long prison terms, often for violent crimes. 

Luster's work in prisons is about making connections, about establishing a sense of presence, seeking to affirm a common humanity between those inside the prison and those of us outside the prison. One way she does that is to print images of prisoners on sheets of metal and coat them so that the images of those remote from us can be touched and handled.

Luster now turns to absence, to places where murders have occurred, leaving whatever traces of violence might survive the removal of the victim's body. Her goal is to document "contemporary and historical homicide sites in the city of New Orleans and is, as well, an exploration of the empty, dizzying space at the core of violence."

These images are all long exposures; movement leaves its traces in these images, even as these spaces seem imprinted with the force of the violence that has taken place here. All the images in this portfolio are circular in format; one might imagine them glimpses of the last things someone being murdered might have seen before he died. 

She also finds that as she works the city itself is changing, so her work also documents "physical loss" as New Orleans' "unique material culture crumbles and transforms following generations of political failure."

 Luster continues to mature and develop as an artist. There is much fine work here to contemplate. In addition to the thoughts one might have about New Orleans and about American society, one might also consider once more the nature of photography as a creative act.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Things to Come, Part One -- Susan Harbage Page at Flanders Gallery

Yes, the days are getting shorter, temperatures have moderated a bit, and there is a hint of autumn cool in the early morning air. That must mean that the fall exhibition season will soon be upon us. Indeed, the announcements of upcoming shows are beginning to to appear and include a number of photographers familiar to readers of this blog.

Susan Harbage Page will have a show of work from her Border Project portfolio opening October 1st at the Flanders Gallery in Raleigh, NC, including the image above. Page records traces in her work, traces of the Great Northward Migration of people from Central and South America into the United States. These images document small events but evoke powerfully the larger events that leave behind these traces.

The space of exhibition is often important in our experience of art. Page showed some of this work earlier this year in the large atrium of a university building, in which the images themselves served as reminders that central North Carolina is one of the major destinations for people crossing the Mexico-USA border.

One could look at Page's image of a shirt, a shoe, an ID bracelet end then look through the building's windows at a landscape in which much of the manual labor maintaining that landscape was itself a sign, or a trace, of the movement of people Page is following.

I'm going to be interested in seeing this work again inside a more conventional exhibition space, a gallery of gracious and generous spaces, but one without windows, one that is part of the commercial world of art, a world whose patrons are supported in their affluence by the labor of the people who left behind the traces that Page records in her work. There is potential here for transformative encounters.

Flanders Gallery actually has up another photography show, right now, a really interesting show of contemporary landscape photography, but the shooters are not, as we say, from around here. Though they are fine shooters, and are Alberto Borea, LaToya Ruby Frazier
, Greg Lindquist
, Mary Mattingly
, Cameron Martin, Ellen Phelan,and Xaviera Simmons.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Becoming: Questions of Identity at the Nasher

The Nasher Museum at Duke University has opened a major show of photographs now up through January 8th, 2012, called Becoming: Photographs From The Wedge Collection.

The official opening is September 14th. The show is a joint project of the Nasher Musuem and the Wedge Collection. The show was curated by The Wedge Curatorial Projects’ Director Kenneth Montague.

This exhibition brings together over a hundred photographs by more than 60 artists from Canada, the United States, Africa and throughout the African Diaspora. The show's title and organizing theme are taken from the writings of Stuart Hall, in his Cultural Identity and Diaspora (1990). Hall argues that "Cultural identity is a matter of ‘becoming’ as well as ‘being’. It belongs to the future as much as to the past… identities are the names we give to the different ways we are positioned by, and position ourselves within, the narrative of the past"

The goal of the exhibition is to explore the relationship between what the curators call "configurations of identity" and the practice of portrait photography in the last half-century.

Or, as the show's curator puts it, "Whether these images document an era or reflect on family histories, this compelling exhibition provides a vivid testimony to the increasing presence of artists who chose to reject the common tendency to view black communities in terms of conflict or stereotype. 

"Becoming offers a fresh exploration of the strength, beauty and complexity captured within representations of black life as it is both lived and imagined. Providing insights into the changing roles of the artist and subject, the camera is used to create scenes that vary from everyday realism to a staged universe. Some images have the look and feel of snapshots, while others convey a theatrical or cinematic positioning. Other works explore the conventions of the family portrait and family album within the dynamics of domestic space and implied perceptions of visuality and body politics."

Photographers whose work is in the show include Henry Clay Anderson, Michele D. Arthur, James Barnor, Janette Beckman, Dawoud Bey, Deanna Bowen, Vanley Burke, Clement Cooper, Wiliam Cordova, Pete Doherty, Calvin Dondo, Alfredo Ramos Fernández and Katarzyna (Kasia) Badach, Tony Gleaton, Joy Gregory, Fred Herzog, Pieter Hugo, Ayana Jackson, Rashid Johnson, Rotimi Fani-Kayode, Seydou Keita, Deana Lawson, Christna Leslie, Oumar Ly, Danny Lyon, Brendan Meadows, Sabelo Mlangeni, Anna Möller, Megan Morgan, Dennis Morris, Zanele Muholi, Keith Ng, Peggy Nolan, Stephanie Noritz, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Horace Ové, Dawit Petros, Charlie Phillips, Annabel Reyes, Milton Rogovin, Athi-Patra Ruga, Wayne Salmon, Vivian Sassen, Jürgen Schadeberg, Jamel Shabazz, Malick Sidibé, Xaviera Simmons, Aaron Siskind, Mikhael Subotzky, Hank Willis Thomas, Mickalene Thomas, James VanDerZee, Camilo José Vergara, Cecil Norman Ward, Ian Watson, Carrie Mae Weems, and Simon Willms.

That's a stunning list of photographers. For a small selection of the work in the show, go HERE for the Nasher's account and HERE for the Wedge Collection's selections.

This promises to be a major assemblage of outstanding work, well worth your travel to Durham.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jennifer Shaw's Hurricane Story

Shooting powerfully emotional events with a camera is often a complex performance, because the act of photographing has built into it a process of distancing, of stepping back from the events themselves. One of the ironies of photography as an art form is this dance between the illusion of presence and the distancing that makes the image possible.

We understand something of what it was like to "be there" because the photographer has stepped into a situation with a camera and yet stepped back from it in the act of making the image, so that the event is transformed from lived 3-dimensional reality into a two dimensional image on a gallery wall or on the pages of a book or in the dancing electrons of a computer monitor. 

Usually, the photographer replicates our outsider role in such situations, someone coming into the situation to be a witness to it and to record it so that we can "be there," too, in the strange way a photograph places us before an event.

But sometimes the photographer is not an outsider, but an insider, a person caught up in the event itself, with powerful consequences for the person. The question then is, where and how does one find the distance on the experience to make sense of it, or at least to make art of it, when the events are crashing around the photographer, threatening to overwhelm the place that is the place of refuge from which one works.

New Orleans-based photographer Jennifer Shaw usually makes shots of Mardi Gras and the other wonders of New Orleans with her Holga camera and prints them up in B&W, incorporating split-toning in the process to heighten the moody and romantic character of the place and the people. 

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans when Shaw was nine months pregnant. She and her husband left the city early on August 28th, 2005, in a truck, as she says, "loaded up . . . two cats, two dogs, two crates full of negatives, all our important papers and a few changes of clothes."  They fled to a motel in southern Alabama; the next day, New Orleans was flooded and their son was born.

Their journey home took them two months and 6000 miles of driving. What they came home to was, of course, the well-documented experience of a devastated city.New parenthood is enough of a disturbance to one's world; simply put, all the twos in Shaw's account of their departure -- two people, two cats, two dogs, two crates -- now had to accommodate a third figure. For Shaw and her husband, all the change was magnified many-fold by the effects of the storm.

Post-Katrina New Orleans has attracted lots of photographers, not to mention movie makers like Spike Lee and the TV crews of Treme. It has joined Detroit as as the place to go to document urban ruin and the anguish that goes along with it. Most of them, however, have been in the conventional photographer's position of outsider coming in, with the goal of taking us there with them.

What Shaw has done is to use her camera to make work out of her experience as an insider. She's still shooting with her Holga, but she has shifted to color film, and to photographing not the surfaces of New Orleans' devastation, but groupings of dolls and toys.

I don't generally like images that depict scenes manufactured out of sets and toy figures, but in Shaw's images this strategy works powerfully and evocatively. Here, this approach is not just a game of perspective and personification. Shaw's decision to do this project with toys enables her to externalize in her images complex experiences of fear, dread, disorientation, and recovery even as the familiar world of home ceases to be a place of respite but a constant source of challenge.

The images in this body of work are playful and eerie, menacing and reassuring. disturbing and mundane. They are honest, truthful, hopeful, and engaging. They are about endings and new beginnings, about the loss of the familiar and the restoration of order. Having seen them, I feel I now know about the experience of Katrina not just in terms of broken surfaces but in terms of one person's experience from within.

And you can have them as they came to me, in a well-produced volume, with an introduction by Rob Walker, called Hurricane Story, from Broken Levee Books and Chin Music Press. This is fine work, well worth a look.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Diana Bloomfield at Tilt Gallery

Raleigh-based photographer Diana Bloomfield is having a show of her alternative process work at the Tilt Gallery, at 919 West Fillmore Street, in Phoenix, AZ, opening September 2nd and up through September 30th, 2011.

Diana is a long-time specialist in traditional and alternative process work. She is a master of pinhole photography and of printing using gum bichromate, platinum/palladium; and cyanotype processing.

Diana often combines multiple alternative processes in the production of a single image, mixing color with black & white and toned printing or printing a cyanotype over platinum, gum over platinum/palladium, or platinum over pigment.

Diana has exhibited her images across the country and around the world, including a major exhibition in China in 2006. Her work is in the permanent collections of Princeton University, NC State University, and the City Museum of Raleigh. Her images have been featured in books and articles on alternative printing processes. She has taught printing at Philadelphia's Project Basho as well as locally at NC State University and at Duke's Center for Documentary Studies.

Diana is a long-time exhibiting artist with Tilt Gallery, one of a number of artists specializing in traditional and alternative processes who have helped make Tilt Gallery a national and world center for this form of photographic practice. 

In this digital age, images often come to us with the illusion of transparency and of clarity of sight that conceals for the viewer the work of making. Darkroom work itself seems a specialized craft and traditional and alternative process work, which takes the darkroom to a new level of creativity, has become an elite practice among fine art photographers.

Alternative process work calls attention to the process of image-making and adds to the experience of looking at a photograph elements of texture, experiences of obscuring as well as revealing, invitations to consider the act of seeing itself as a practice rather than a given of experience. It shatters the illusion that visual experience comes to us unmediated, that photography brings us the world as it is rather than as it is seen.

One special feature of alternative process photographs is often their tactile feel and physical three-dimensionality. Paper and chemicals join with image to make an object with depth and texture, unlike inkjet images where the surface that holds the image is so thin as to seem to want to disappear.

Southerners live in a very physical world, a world we constantly remake as one cost of living with our history. Diana's work reminds us of the texture, the physicality, the constructedness of that world. She does compelling, provocative work, well worth seeing, if you are in Phoenix in September.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Dog Days of 2011 -- Catching Up

Four items of interest, mostly about things happening that are based in North Carolina:

1. Chapel Hill, NC-based (and previously featured on this blog) photographer  Lori Vrba is the current featured artist for Atlanta's Jennifer Schwartz Gallery's program THE TEN, which features each month ten images by a designated photographer, all for $250 each. Vrba does compelling, engaging work, very much worth checking out.

2. The work now up at DOMA Gallery in Charlotte in a show entitled The Eyes of Carolina is now also available online HERE.

The show includes work by North Carolina-based photographers Eric Baden, Frank Konhaus (see above), Jeff Murphy, Rachel Nemecek, and Mike Smith.

This work looks very much worth seeing, and DOMA Gallery is at 1310 S Tryon Street, in Charlotte.

Call 'em at 704.333.3420 if you want to see the work, because they are apparently open now only by appointment (or so said the sign on the door this past Tuesday).

3. I've now, finally, received my copy of the annual Photography issue of Southern Cultures, the very fine quarterly published by the UNC Press for the Center for the Study of the American South. 

This issue, guest-edited by Tom Rankin of Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies, contains a number of superlative essays, including Rankin's own essay, "The Cruel Radiance of the Obvious," about photography and the American South; Ben Child's "Mapping The Democratic Forest," on the work of William Eggleston; and Dolores Flamiano's "Heroes of Hell Hole Swamp," on the photographs of South Carolina midwives made by Hansel Mieth and W. Eugene Smith.

There are also first-class photo essays by Susan Harbage Page and Michael Carlebach.

Splendid work, all around, in this issue.  And anyone who knows anything about academic institutional rivalries knows the significance of what I mean when I point out this is a joint product of Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

4. Speaking of Duke University, and their Center for Documentary Studies, CDS has announced the winners of the Daylight/CDS Photo Awards for 2011.This is a joint project of CDS and Daylight Magazine which used to be published in Chapel Hill, NC, but has, I think, now gone elsewhere.

There is more on the Daylight/CDS Photo Awards here.

This year's winners are Tamas Dezso, for his portfolio Here, Anywhere, and David Pace, for his work-in-progress Friday Night.

Well worth looking at through the award announcement is the work by the long list of Jurors' Choice and Honorable Mention selections, in addition to the work of the two winners.
There is exceptional work here, from photographers all over the world and all over the USA. The quality and diversity of the work, together with the exceptional geographic range of the photographers, bears strong witness to the importance of CDS (and of course Daylight Magazine) in the current practice of photography. You're doing good, guys. I'm proud to be an alumnus. 

I of course looked for photographers here with Southern roots and didn't find any. I did find two folks not from around here who are doing work in the South this summer, Shane Lavalette,(who as we know is right now doing a commission for the High Museum) and Stacy Kranitz, who at the moment is somewhere in the South, and plans to be working here through September of this year.

You can see some of her work made Down Here on her Ongoing Narrative Blog, which we will continue to follow with interest. Ywesterday, she posted work from Garner, Kentucky, where she checked out a full-immersion baptism and a prayer meeting.

She calls this body of work-in-progress her Appalachian Summer, and she says you can check on her progress (and see if she's working near you) by emailing her at stacy@stacykranitz.com or by calling her up at 213.447.8229.

Its amazing, the phenomenon of social media, through which we can follow folks' work in pretty much real time.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How Others See Us . . . .

Thanks to Kathleen Robbins for forwarding to me links to a photography show that was up in the De la War Pavilion, an exhibition space on the south coast of England,  near Brighton, last winter from October 1st, 2010 to January 3rd, 2011, called Myth, Manners and Memory: Photographers of the American South.

From the perspective of a far away place, this show gives some insights into how the American South is understood, and how the photographing of it influences that understanding.

This is how the Pavilion describes its show:

"This exhibition brings together a number of prominent American artists who have, in various ways, engaged with the physical and psychological landscape of the southern states of the USA.

"Combining historical and contemporary works, it is a collection of memorable images of this distinctive region, its people and their lives as seen by artists including Walker Evans, William Eggleston, William Christenberry, Susan Lipper, Alec Soth and Carrie Mae Weems. Some of the artists make images from being Southerners themselves, some from experiences of spending a considerable length of time in the South as an outsider, and some informed by the region's history and social issues."

Jane Won, the curator for this show, is careful not to say that the show does anything specific like define the American South. Instead, it wants to explore "what is perhaps indefinable - the cultural complexities and tensions, the constant but unresolved dialogues between past and present, and the varying patterns of everyday life in the South that might, however elusively, constitute its sense of identity"

The curators made a video about this exhibition that is now on YouTube (see above). While the show was up, the gallery staff held a series of events focusing on it, and wrote about peoples' responses in a series of entries on the blog for the Pavilion (go HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE,  HERE,and HERE.)

This material gathers random English perspectives on our region, including such insightful remarks as, "a colourful, poor, cruel, historical, segregated, vast, messy, frontier.” Or, "a reminder that American culture isn’t as comfortably, tediously uniform as some might have you believe.” Or, "stark, colourful, barren, lush." Or, "bruised, beat-up and abandoned."  There you have it.

If one watches the video, one is reminded of a couple of key things about the South and fine art photography, namely that shows by Walker Evans and William Eggleston at MOMA were landmark events in the acceptance of photography as a fine art and in the development of the understandings of the range of acceptable practices in the making of a fine art photograph.

That's all fine and good, and one is pleased to see work by Walker Evans, William Eggleston, William Christenberry, and Carrie Mae Weems in this show.

But, of course, one needs to point out that Susan Lipper's work in this show was made in West Virginia, which isn't a Southern state. In fact, West Virginia came into being in the run-up to the Civil War precisely so that part of the country could escape having the experience of slavery, secession, war, and defeat that is indelibly part of Southern history, culture, and identity.

And the work by Alex Soth in this show is from his Sleeping by the Mississippi portfolio, a whole bunch of which was not made in the South at all, but in places like Minnesota and Iowa, because what holds it together as a body of work is the river, and in spite of the name of the river, its a damn long river and goes all kinds of places.

Surely there more contemporary photographers with deeper Southern roots than Soth or Lipper worthy of being on the wall alongside Evans, Eggleston, Christenberry, and Weems.

Also, if you watch the video, you will hear in the soundtrack Appalachian music, certainly Southern music, but more narrowly regional than the Blues, which would have been my choice of music that speaks more from the heart of Southern experience.

The folks in Brighton showed a series of movies -- choosing from among many possibilities, a documentary on William Eggleston, called William Eggleston in the Real World, and a series of major films, including the Elizabeth Taylor/Paul Newman take on Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, the George Clooney vehicle O Brother Where Art Thou?, and a film with which I am not familiar with Robert Duvall called God and Generals,  about Stonewall Jackson.

However fine and interesting these movies are (at least they didn't show Gone with the Wind), the best movie about the South and American culture is Godfrey Cheshire's 2008 documentary movie Moving Midway about the issues around the moving of a plantation house, and the image of the plantation in American culture, and the complexities of Southern families and their heritage.

If you haven't seen Moving Midway, you really need to. Here's the trailer:

Or this version of the trailer, done for the 2008 presidential campaign:

But back to England -- on October 21st of last year one Richard Gray, a Professor of Literature at the University of Essex, about, as they promised, "what makes the American South different, special and even strange. He will be placing the photographs on display in the exhibition in the contexts of Southern history and mythology and, in particular, in the context of Southern literature - how writers from the region have created a place that seems to exist somewhere between the actual and the imagined."

Wish I could have been there for that one.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Catching Up with the eZines -- One One Thousand and South x Southeast for Mid-Summer

One of the delights of trying to keep track of fine art photography done in the South or by Southern photographers in the last several years has been watching the emergence of the online photo magazines One One Thousand and South x Southeast. One One Thousand showcases a single photographer twice each month, while South x Southeast gives us a single monthly issue filled with images, interviews, news, and the like.

The latest photographer to be featured in One One Thousand is the Philadelphia-based Lori Waselchuk, whose portfolio of images made in Louisiana's Angola  prison documents the innovative hospice program that offers long-term prisoners at the end of their lives some measure of respect and dignity.

We have discussed Lori's work before on this blog, HERE, so will direct you to that presentation, except to reinforce the point that the clarity and elegance of her images embody the common humanity we all share, regardless of the side of the fence we find ourselves.

I'll let Lori speak for her own work. She says, "I focused on moments of connection between caregiver and patient, which can reveal both love and vulnerability. I am inspired by the inmates’ courage to confront their own regrets and fears in order to accept their capacity to love. The inmates have allowed me to visualize what I believe is at the core of addressing social inequalities: the recognition of our shared humanity."

'Nuff said. 

South x Southeast's August issue is out, HERE, and it features work by Sheila Pree Bright, Jerry Uelsmann, Laura Noel, Gordon Stettinius and Terry Brown, Thomas Fahley, Maude Schuyler Clay, Annie Hogan, Gillian Laub, and Pam Moxley, among a host of other things, all of interest to those engaged in Southern photography.

 Full access to South x Southeast only comes with payment of (a modest) subscription fee, so I'm still working out how to feature its contents on this blog. I want to provide information about the photographers featured in each month's issue but I also want to honor the good editorial work of those who bring this work to us in this format.

This is a concept in progress for me. We will see how it goes. The image above, a haunting image of a former slave cabin superimposed on an image of the master's house, from Annie Hogan's Double Vision portfolio, is from Hogan's website, though you will find lots more of her work, along with additional editorial content, in the August South x Southeast.

Lets just say for now that a reason to subscribe might be Maude Clay's portfolio called Erasing Sally Mann, a collection of photographs of Sally Mann's work prints deteriorating in the Southern weather of Mississippi. Since one of Mann's portfolios is of human bodies deteriorating in the Southern weather of Virginia, this is an interesting conceit for a project.