Eliot Dudik: Broken Land
My goals are to create landscapes that come alive with the acts of war, and cause, at least, contemplation of the nature of being American, to allow understanding, communication, and cooperation with fellow citizens.
Photographer Eliot Dudik has created a new series, Broken Land, which consists of beautifully captured large format diptychs. The combing of two images reveal a landscape that is cinematic and expansive, setting a stage for historic considerations. His work explores Southern culture and landscape, and allows us to ponder past and future conflicts on home soil. By showing us a landscape that is familiar and not foreign, his photographs are charged with the power of history and horrors of war.
Eliot has an exhibition of Broken Land at the Irene Carlson Gallery of Photography at the University of La Verne, in La Verne, California (Miller Hall 1950 Third Street, La Verne, CA 91750) from April 14th – May 30th, 2014. A conversation with Eliot and two writers of reflection papers (by Dr. William A. Cook, Professor of English and Dr. Gregory Cummings, Media and Public Affairs Liaison at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum) takes place on May 8th at 4:30 with a reception to follow.
Eliot’s first monograph, ROAD ENDS IN WATER, was published in 2010. This series has enjoyed much recognition through exhibitions across the country, as well as several publications such as PDN, Magenta Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, and One, One Thousand: A Publication of Southern Photography. In 2012, Eliot was named one of PDN’s 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch and one of Oxford American Magazine’s 100 New Superstars of Southern Art.
Eliot graduated cum laude from the College of Charleston in 2007, receiving a Bachelors of Science in Anthropology and a Bachelors of Art in Art History. He received his Masters of Fine Art in photography with honors at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010. Eliot joined the University of South Carolina faculty in the fall of 2011 as an adjunct professor of photography.
The idea of history repeating itself generally associates with the notion that an attempt to recognize mistakes of the past leads to prevention of recurrence. Current political and cultural polarization in the United States seems to have blinded citizens to the effects of historical schisms: divisions that, having not been recognized and resolved, led to the horrific and devastating events of the American Civil War. The current political divide in this country is not dissimilar to that of mid-nineteenth century America, and to severely compound these issues, political leaders today, as before, are apparently incapable of lasting and formative resolutions.
Perspectives on the Civil War and contemporary culture are vast and deeply engrained in our heritage. Prying open and examining viewpoints objectively is exceedingly difficult, but an essential responsibility for all citizens to allow any possibility of cultural and political cohesion. My goals are to create landscapes that come alive with the acts of war, and cause, at least, contemplation of the nature of being American, to allow understanding, communication, and cooperation with fellow citizens. These photographs are an attempt to preserve American history, not to relish it, but recognize its cyclical nature and to derail that seemingly inevitable tendency for repetition.
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