Shane Lavalette: Picturing the South
The name Shane Lavalette first entered my consciousness when he created the innovative and stellar magazine, Lay Flat. While still a student, Shane excited the photo world with his new approach to publishing. His mastery of all things visual continues to be evident with his new body of work, Picturing the South. Born in Vermont, Shane received his BFA from Tufts University in partnership with the School of the Museum of Art, Boston. He has exhibited and published widely, and is the Associate Director of Light Work.
Shane was commissioned by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta to create new photographs about the South, along with Martin Parr and Kael Alford, for an exhibition that opens at the museum on June 9th and runs through September 2, 2012. The exhibition features a companion exhibition, Picturing New York, with 150 historical works by Lewis Hine, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Harry Callahan, and Diane Arbus.
In 2010 I was commissioned by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta to create a new body of photographs for their “Picturing the South” series, which includes past artists Sally Mann, Emmet Gowin, Richard Misrach, Dawoud Bey, Alex Webb and Alec Soth. I’m honored to be amongst these artists, and look forward to exhibiting new work with photographers Martin Parr and Kael Alford in June of 2012.
Images from Picturing the South
Having grown up in the Northeast, it was primarily through traditional music—old time, blues, gospel, etc.—that I had formed a relationship with the South. With that in mind, the region’s rich musical history became the natural entry point for my work. I was not interested in making a documentary about Southern music today, but desired to explore the relationship between traditional music and the contemporary landscape through a more poetic lens. Moved by the themes and stories past down in songs, I let the music itself carry the pictures.
Two years later, with the project now complete, I have begun working on a mock-up of a book which I believe is the ideal venue for this body of work. From the beginning I imagined this project in book form. With your help, I hope to make this book physical in the coming months.
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