Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South comprises fifty-five photographers’ visions of the South over the first decades of the twenty-first century. Accordingly, the 220 photographs in the exhibition offer 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.
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 mixture of history, geography, and culture that constitutes today’s New South.
Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South was organized by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, College of Charleston School of the Arts. This project was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.