Tuesday, November 27, 2018

SOUTHBOUND: Photographs of and about the New South, the show now up at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in Charleston, SC, has received appreciative coverage from the New York Times, go here.

The Times story features a number of images from this show, including Blizz and Brooke by Jares Soares (see image above). 

The story argues that "Accepting the South for what it is, instead of what we imagine it to be, is not easy. “I think that if you were to Google ‘Southern photography,’ you’re going to come up with the images of a rusted pickup truck in a field,” Richard McCabe said. “But the South is as much Houston as it is the Mississippi Delta. I think what we don’t realize is the place is just as connected as everywhere else.”
It goes on: “New Southern Photography” . . .  challenges the outdated assumption that the South is disconnected and isolated. Many people have tried to create a new visual language for the South, only to fail because they’d presumed there was a singular, representational way to do that. Mr. McCabe, who is the museum’s curator of photography, didn’t make the same mistake.
“‘New Southern Photography’ is not intended to define the South,” Mr. McCabe wrote in the exhibit’s catalog, “but rather to create an open discussion.”

And so it will.  

The Times article also brings to my attention a new book by historian Scott L. Matthews, Capturing the South: Imagining America’s Most Documented Region,” which examines documentary work of the South throughout the 20th century.

Matthews is quoted in the Times piece as arguing “that as early as the 19th century, portions of the South — particularly the rural South and what was almost considered the West at that time, but what we would now think of the Deep South — became this frontier culture that stood in stark contrast to the rapidly-modernizing cities of eastern America, that were not only becoming industrialized, but beginning to experience rapid immigration from Europe.”  The South remained true to itself while “emerging markets were standardizing the rest of America. 
 This book will be on my wish list for Christmas, for sure.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Southbound in Charleston

The Halsey Institute has on exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and City Gallery at Waterfront Park, both in Charleston, SC, a new and exceptional show of Southern photography called SOUTHBOUND: Photographs of and about the New South, through March 2nd, 2019.

This show is a major landmark in contemporary Southern photography, featuring the work of 56 of the best photographers working in the South today (including Durham's Titus Brooks Heagins, see image above), all of whom contribute to the project's overall goal of "offering a composite image of this storied region." 

The work on offer in this show includes photographs that reveal the South as "a bastion of tradition, as a region remade through Americanization and globalization, and as a land full of surprising realities."

I had the chance to meet Mark Sloan and Mark Long a while back, and their enthusiasm for this project was extraordinary. The show they have assembled justifies fully their enthusiasm. 

This show is not to be missed. The good news is that once it comes down in Charleston, it will move to other places. We'll keep you informed about its stops along the way. 

In the meantime, seek out the massive catalogue of the show, now available here. 

You can also check out the show's own website, here

On the website, don't miss the MAP OF SOUTHERNNESS, here. 

Also check out the feature story about this show from TIME, here

And, whatever you do, if you practice or care about photography in the American South, you have to see this show. 

You really do.

Return to the South

Your faithful blogger is returning to his work documenting the world of Southern photography. At least, on a limited basis. 

I recognized last winter that I had taken a 'way too expansive view of my subject when I started this blog back in 2009. 

So I wound up spending lots of time trying to keep up with every show, every publication, every photography related event that came to my attention.

I plan a more selective view this time, but hope my work is still useful. 

If anyone feels left out by my new policy, please let me know.

We will see how this goes.