Thursday, June 25, 2015


Gillian Laub : Southern Rites

May 14 - June 27 2015

Benrubi Gallery
521 West 26th Street
2nd floor
New York, NY 10001

About three years ago on a visit Gillian Laub's studio I  got a chance to view this work.The first image has remain inside my head all this time,the vastness,the struggle between life and death in that Georgia red dirt.The feeling of heat and hope played against a sign that is a proclamation as well as a shout of desperation.Even as a southern who loves his land and place, I still find a struggle within no more than now .

This is a must see exhibition in New York now,so timely.There are three days left,yes the images and other aspects of this combination of projects will be on view in accessible forms to add to the discussion what is the south
The rest of this blog post is an edit of the gallery's press release, please go and see 

Southern Rites is a provocative twelve-year visual study of one community’s struggle to confront
longstanding issues of race and equality. In 2002, Laub was invited to Mt. Vernon, Georgia, to
photograph its segregated homecoming celebrations. She kept returning to the community and in
2009, The New York Times Magazine published a photo-essay by Laub titled, “A Prom Divided,”
which documented Georgia’s Montgomery County High School’s racially segregated prom rituals.
Laub’s photographs ignited a firestorm of national outrage that, remarkably, led the community to
finally integrate the proms.

Laub continued to travel to Mt. Vernon to document the aftermath, which was welcomed in some
circles and decried in others. In 2011, amid newfound hope, the murder of a young black man
(portrayed in Laub’s earlier prom series) by an older white town resident reopened old wounds.
Through her intimate portraits, first-hand testimony, and video installation, Laub reveals in vivid
color the horror and humanity of these complex, intertwined narratives.
The photographer’s inimitable sensibility ensures that, however elevated the ideas and themes
may be, her pictures remain studies of individuals; a chronicle of their courage in the face of
injustice, of their suffering and redemption, possessing an unsettling power. Laub’s photographs
capture a world caught between eras and values with extraordinary candor and immediacy—
and ultimately ask whether a new generation can finally unshackle themselves from an
uncomfortable past and make a different future.

The Benrubi exhibition coincides with the world broadcast premiere of Southern Rites on HBO, a
documentary directed by Laub herself, and executive produced by acclaimed musician John
Legend. Film, book, and exhibition constitute a major cultural and artistic achievement

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