Free For All
GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Monday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Open until 7pm on Thursdays

October 19, 2018 - March 2, 2019

Various Artists


October 19, 2018 - March 2, 2019

Various Artists


Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South is an unprecedented photography exhibition co-curated by Mark Sloan, director and chief curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, and Mark Long, professor of political science, both of whom are on the faculty of the College of Charleston, in South Carolina.

Southbound embraces the conundrum of its name. To be southbound is to journey to a place in flux, radically transformed over recent decades, yet also to the place where the past resonates most insistently in the United States. To be southbound is also to confront the weight of preconceived notions about this place, thick with stereotypes, encoded in the artistic, literary, and media records. Southbound engages with and unsettles assumed narratives about this contested region by providing fresh perspectives for understanding the complex admixture of history, geography, and culture that constitutes today’s New South.

Southbound will comprise fifty-six photographers’ visions of the South over the first decades of the twenty-first century. Accordingly, it offers a composite image of the region. The photographs echo stories told about the South as a bastion of tradition, as a region remade through Americanization and globalization, and as a land full of surprising realities. The project’s purpose is to investigate senses of place in the South that congeal, however fleetingly, in the spaces between the photographers’ looking, their images, and our own preexisting ideas about the region.

Recognizing the complexity of understanding any place, let alone one as charged as the American South, the curators’ approach is transdisciplinary. The photographs will be complemented by a commissioned video, an interactive digital mapping environment, an extensive stand-alone website, and a comprehensive exhibition catalogue. This publication will draw on expertise from disciplines in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

The history of the American South is among the most storied of any region in the world. As a result of the vitality of its culture and the diversity of its inhabitants—to say nothing about the salience of photography in the U.S.—the region has also come to be among the most photographed. Through the exhibition, video, remappings, website, and catalogue—separately and in tandem—the Southbound project charts new courses to expanded imaginings for the twenty-first century South.

Southbound is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. The exhibition will debut simultaneously at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and the City Gallery at Waterfront Park.


Various Artists


October 19, 2018 - March 2, 2019

The Halsey Institute is producing a comprehensive catalogue to accompany the exhibition, including images by all exhibiting artists and a variety of essays offering a range of perspectives about the South. Southbound will draw on the expertise of leading intellectuals and scholars of the Southern experience. Essayists include William R. Ferris, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, now Senior Associate Director for the Study of the American South at the University of North Carolina; Eleanor Heartney, a contributing editor for Art in America, distinguished art critic, and author of several seminal volumes on contemporary art; and John T. Edge, author and director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an institute of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi.  Nikky Finney, Professor of Creative Writing and Southern Letters at the University of South Carolina and 2011 winner of the National Book Award for Poetry, will contribute original content inspired by the exhibition’s photographs to the volume. The catalogue is supported in part by Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund.


Filmmaker John David Reynolds has been commissioned to produce a ten-to-fifteen-minute documentary featuring interviews with select photographers, writers, and Southern subjects. He will also produce video interviews with photographers to be available on the micro-website for Southbound. Reynolds is an award -winning videographer who specializes in films about artists and the creative process.


The Halsey Institute has commissioned Dr. Rick Bunch, a geographic information science (GIS) and spatial cognition specialist, to design an interactive map of the South, representing everything from street name maps to data collected on prison populations and churchgoers, among other topics. Available on interactive technology inside the exhibition space, this Index of Southerness will allow viewers to switch on- and-off indicators and arrive at their own maps of the South.


A stand-alone micro-website connected to the Halsey Institute’s website will be produced in conjunction with the exhibition. This site will contain many more images by each photographer, links to essays, and additional information about the photographers and subjects of the images. We will also include Dr. Bunch’s interactive Index of Southernness.


Mark Sloan has been the director and chief curator of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston since 1994. Prior to his appointment to the Halsey Institute, Sloan was the associate director of San Francisco Camerawork and executive director of the Light Factory in Charlotte, N.C. He is also a practicing photographer whose works have been exhibited at many international venues, including the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; the American Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.; and the Grand Palais, in Paris. He has curated dozens of photography exhibitions in his thirty- three year career, including No Man’s Land: Contemporary Photographers and Fragile Ecologies, featuring Edward Burtynsky, Emmet Gowin, and David Maisel.

Trained in Ireland, Spain, and the U.S., Mark Long has been professor of political science and geography at the College of Charleston since 2002. His research concerns itself with how we see political and cultural geographies; recent publications have explored street art and editorial cartoons. He has guest-curated several exhibitions for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, including Simon Norfolk’s Et in Arcadia Ego, Pedro Lobo’s architecture of survival, and Stuart Klipper’s Antarctica.


Southbound is generously supported by:

Ann Brown



Arts, etc.

Bishop Family Fund

City of Charleston

College of Charleston

Emsa Fund, Inc.

Frank Konhaus and Ellen Cassily

Furthermore: a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund

Garden & Gun Magazine

Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation

Koozer Painting

Leilani DeMuth

Lucinda Bunnen

Mike Siegel

Mindy Seltzer and Robert Lovinger

National Endowment for the Arts

Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

Shon and Cindy Barnett

South Carolina Arts Commission

South State Bank

Susan Pearlstine

Tom and Kathleen Wright

Free For All
GALLERY HOURS (during exhibitions)
Monday – Saturday, 11am – 4pm
Open until 7pm on Thursdays

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