Reception: Thursday, May 30 | 4-5 p.m.
Admission is free and open to the public.
The confinement of humans by humans is a longstanding crisis. In recent years, certain words and phrases have reasserted themselves in our American political dialogues, particularly those relating to internment or war camps. Interested in sites where people were held during times of conflict, I wondered what markers are erected to educate or commemorate. How are these areas incorporated into the contemporary human world around them? Are they honored spaces, or ignored? Are they even on a map?
In my research and travels I have learned that some locations, like Camp Sumter in Georgia and Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, are well known, and others, such as Frongoch in Wales and Camp Pigné in France, are less so. Some threaten to disappear altogether, like Camp Ruston in Louisiana. Some sit in plain sight: Bruin’s Slave Jail is an office building in Virginia. Sites featured in this first phase of the project have followed various paths to their current states. As a group, the photographs bear testimony to the resolution required to remember and the dangers inherent in forgetting.
The American photographer Ralph Eugene Meatyard advised photographers to start with a background. The background here is layered, multifaceted, and spans continents. The background is war. The background is time’s passage. The background contains history, documented or dissolved. It holds evidence of effort or neglect. Hidden, visited, maintained or dismissed, these spaces continue to exist among us. With black and white film, I seek to record their line, landscape, shadow, and geography, whatever remains.