The Largest Exhibition of Twenty-First Century Southern Photography

Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South opens October 19 and runs through March 2, 2019, at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston. Together, the 220 photos included in the exhibition tell a story of the twenty-first century South through the lens of fifty-six photographers.
Click through for a sneak peek at the exhibit here.
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Calling the Dogs, 2012

Photograph by Matt Eich

From The Invisible Yoke, Vol. IV: We, the Free series Greensboro, Alabama

This image of a pre-hunt gathering of hounds by the Virginia photographer Matt Eich represents a “holdover of previous ways of being,” Mark Long says. “It’s that juxtaposition of old and new, which drives my sense of the South, that’s encoded in this image.” Eich’s work can be found in the New York Public Library’s collection, among others.

photo: Matt Eich

Horse Tomatoes, 2003

Photograph by Langdon Clay

From the Horse series
Sumner, Mississippi

“It’s the elements here at play one with the other that’s so compelling,” says Long of this photo of a New York Times section featuring a Confederate statue lining a basket of tomatoes. The work of Langdon Clay, a New York native and longtime Mississippi resident, can be found in such collections as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s.

Girl Dancing, 2010

Photograph by Magdalena Solé

From The Delta: A Journey through  the Deep South series Greenwood, Mississippi

The Delta is heavily represented in Southbound, Long says, calling it a “magnetic place” for photographers. In addition to the Spanish-born Solé, artists such as Brandon Thibodeaux, Maude Schuyler Clay, Will Jacks, Thomas Rankin, and Kathleen Robbins have work included from that Mississippi region.

Willie King at Betty’s Place, 2000

Photograph by Bill Steber

From the Stones in My Pathway: Photographs of Mississippi Blues Culture series
Prairie Point, Mississippi

The Tennessee native Bill Steber, who has documented the Mississippi blues culture for two decades, is a musician himself, and friends with the Betty’s Place crowd, affording him “privileged access,” Mark Sloan says, to moments such as this. “You can almost smell the air and feel the energy in that room.”

Homecoming, Selma, Alabama, 2009

Photograph by Jerry Siegel

From the Black Belt Color series
Selma, Alabama

Jerry Siegel, who grew up in the region of Alabama known as the Black Belt, captures here not only anachronistic finery juxtaposed with the Southern football tradition but also the historical freight both carry. “You can read almost as much into this as you want to,” Long says. “The meaning of these images comes in that space created between the photographer looking, the image itself, and our looking.”

Four on a Bike, Piety Street, 2010

Photograph by Kevin Kline

From the Someday You Will Be a Memory series
New Orleans, Louisiana

Kevin Kline has photographed his neighborhood, New Orleans’ Bywater, for decades—he lives in the home in the background. He most likely captured this image after stepping out of Frady’s, Sloan says, the corner store across the street. The photo, Long says, speaks to the “pandemonium of childhood.”

photo: Kevin Kline

Finger-Lickin’ Good, 2007

Photograph by Susana Raab

From the Consumed: Fast Food in the United States series
London, Kentucky

Susana Raab, who lives in Washington, D.C.,  snapped this photograph during the Colonel Sanders look-alike contest at the annual World Chicken Festival. “It’s almost like seeing three Santa Clauses,” Sloan says. John T. Edge, who wrote an essay about “cloaking and costuming” in the South to accompany this shot for the catalogue, reminds viewers that “Sanders pivoted from selling gasoline and fried chicken to selling conceits rooted in antebellum fantasies.”

photo: Susan Raab

Wedding Silver, 2010

Photograph by McNair Evans

From the Confessions for a Son series
Laurinburg, North Carolina

San Francisco resident McNair Evans photographed this series while back home in North Carolina shuttering his childhood home after his father’s death, as a way to come to terms with his grief, as well as to reassess his family history. The pieces evoke a “sense of holding on to the way things were,” Long says, “once upon a time.”

Eliza’s Birthday Party, 2004

Photograph by Alex Harris

From the Family series
Durham, North Carolina

The Baptism, 1986, Circa 2010

Photograph by Chandra McCormick

From the River Roads series
Zion Traveler’s Baptist Church, Phoenix, Louisiana

Oil Spill #122010

Photograph by
Daniel Beltrá

From the Spill series
Gulf of Mexico

Alligator Alley, Oregon Road, 2009

Photograph by Eliot Dudik

From the Road Ends in Water series
Colleton County, South Carolina

Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Lehi, Arkansas, 2010

Photograph by Eugene Richards

From the Red Ball of a Sun Slipping Down series
Lehi, Arkansas

Paved Dirt, Lumpkin, Georgia, 2015

Photograph by Jessica Ingram

From the Love Rich Land series
Lumpkin, Georgia


Photograph by Kathleen Robbins

From the Into the Flatland series
Tallahatchie County, Mississippi


The Greatest Show on Earth, Parking Lot, Georgia, 2008

Photograph by Kyle Ford

From the Second Nature series
Atlanta, Georgia

Winder, Georgia, 2009

Photograph by Anderson Scott

Winder, Georgia

Island Road, 2010

Photograph by Stacy Kranitz

From The Island series
Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana, 2014

Photograph by Tammy Mercure

From the Saints series
New Orleans, Louisiana

Catfish, 2004

Photograph by Thomas Rankin

Bee Lake, Holmes County, Mississippi