How many middle and high-school students have looked beneath the focusing cloth of an 8x10 large format camera? Before a couple of months ago, none of the students in art classes at Rollings Middle School of the Arts in Summerville and Goose Creek High School had. But, they were able to have that novel experience when photographer and College of Charleston professor John Hathaway visited for part of the Capturing #MySouth project organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Students were amazed at what they saw under the cloth: a large screen, full-color view of the moving world upside down and backwards, as Hathaway says “like you own private little cinema.” Hathaway showed students how to focus the camera with the knob and gave each student the chance to go under the cloth and adjust the camera focus on a friend standing in front of the camera. READ WHOLE POST [+]
Each generation of Southerners has their own stories to share. Historical shifts in technology, politics, and culture flavor the stories differently, but themes of place, nature and community thread through. The Capturing #MySouth program, organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, has encouraged the development of new Southern stories told by the next generation of Southerners under the guidance of experienced professionals. This project is one of the Halsey’s largest educational initiatives to date and matches in ambition and breadth the impressive reach of their current exhibition: Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South. READ WHOLE POST [+]
First Snow in Twenty Years, Rosa Scott Road, a photograph by Eliot Dudik currently in the exhibition Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, piece illustrates the stereotypical culture of the south. One can imagine a group of “good ol' boys” in a pickup truck rolling into this field on the side of the road just for the joy of making a donut in the fresh snow.
The photograph is a part of Dudik’s Road Ends in Water series. Starting in 2009, the series was meant to circumvent the growing tourism development in the south-particularly the South Carolina lowcountry where Dudik completed his undergraduate studies. He aimed to capture the fading southern small town, evoking Walker Evans's work for the FSA in the first half of the twentieth century. READ WHOLE POST [+]
As a child, my answers to the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" unequivocally revealed my Southern, or more aptly Texan, upbringing. I would be a cowgirl, or a racecar driver, depending on the day.
As an adult I spent some time New York, where people regarded anything between New York or LA—with the occasional admittance of Chicago—as inconsequential flyover country. Texas was among these unremarkable origins. Doubly so was South Carolina, where my parents and I moved when I was in elementary school. Despite being Texans, we quickly realized that before living in South Carolina, we had barely skimmed the surface of what it means to be Southern. There seemed to be about a dozen types of Baptist, and a lot of them were the "wrong kind." Teenagers sported confederate flags without batting an eye. And it seemed that the majority of people would rather ding their cars daily on pot holes than see a half a cent sales tax increase. READ WHOLE POST [+]
In the exhibition Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, Daniel Beltrá’s Oil Spill photographs contextualize the complex nature of the American South with natural resources. America’s agricultural community has been one of its greatest assets and one that is historically rooted in society’s traditional Southern lifestyle today. However, along with advances in technology in urban areas, the South has also seen the effects of America’s Industrial Revolution with its booming oil industry. At its peak, a rapid search for oil along with the gold rush redefined the South’s relationship between man and nature through translating America’s natural resources into the culture of mass production. READ WHOLE POST [+]
As William Faulkner said, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” This sentiment rings especially true in the South. The Southbound project is an interesting one, for it is photography of and about the “New South.” The photos are all taken after the year 2000, but what does the idea of the “New South” really mean? READ WHOLE POST [+]
Langdon Clay is a New York native who relocated to Sumner, Mississippi with his wife and fellow photographer, Maude Schuyler Clay. Clay’s New York origins give him a unique perspective into the South. His exploration of Southern values is rooted in the people of the South and the mark they leave on the natural world. In the mini-film that accompanies the Halsey Institute’s exhibition Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, Clay explains his desire to “get as much information as possible” from a single photograph, so for as long as it may last, its viewers will receive its message. As a self-proposed “Yankee” in the American South, Clay aims to “absent [himself] from the process” and serve as a “conduit” in order to present an honest portrait of the South he observes. READ WHOLE POST [+]
After learning the history of McNair Evans’s Confessions for a Son series, I was immediately drawn to the photograph Christmas Morning, 2009 in the exhibition Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South. The series is a collection of images taken shortly after Evans father had passed. This particular image was captured at his grandmother’s home in North Carolina on Christmas Morning. The scene depicts an abandoned game of solitaire Evans’s mother had been playing the previous evening. READ WHOLE POST [+]
Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South is a groundbreaking photography exhibition that provides fresh perspectives of the culture that constitutes today’s New South. It is composed of fifty-six photographers who have confronted and redefined the preconceived notions and stereotypes that come along with the region. One specific artist featured in Southbound who stands out is Kyle Ford. Ford is a Hong Kong-based photographer who explores how humans interface with the natural world. One of his images in particular, Shamu, Seaworld Florida, 2009 captures American commercialism and the world’s largest industry: tourism. READ WHOLE POST [+]