“Southbound” Opens at Duke and NC State With Fresh Perspectives on the South

Southbound: Photographs of and About the New South is about the storied, charged, and enduring place that we call the South. The exhibit is curated by Mark Sloan and Mark Long of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston School of the Arts, and organized in this iteration by author and North Carolina native Randall Kenan into two interrelated exhibitions: Flux: Nostalgia vs. the Future, on view at the Power Plant Gallery, and Home: How We Make Ourselves, on view at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at NC State University.

“We are excited to co-host Southbound with the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at NC State this fall. This ambitious exhibit explores our diverse and ever changing South through the art of photography,” says Caitlin Margaret Kelly, Power Plant Gallery director.  “In her Southern Cultures essay, “Photography as History in the US South,” Grace Elizabeth Hale said it best: ‘Artists make us think deeply about form. Qualities like light and color, mass and volume, composition and line, shape our perception of how the parts relate to the whole. They influence our understanding of content. And they invite thinking about the relationship of representation to reality.’”

Author and North Carolina native Randall Kenan—who was invited to organize the many photographs for this iteration of the exhibit—asks of the New South: “Where does change fit into our lives? At the center.”

“Photographers tell stories with their camera, and as viewers, we must think deeply and create space where reflection can lead to action.”
—Caitlin Margaret Kelly, Power Plant Gallery

Feature image: Devonte, 2008. Image by Titus Brooks Heagins. From the “Durham Stories: Not Hell But You Can See It From Here!” series. Durham, North Carolina.

Southbound Exhibition Website

Jihad Lamp, 2006. Image by Chris Sims. From the “Theater of War: The Pretend Villages of Iraq and Afghanistan” series. Fort Polk, Louisiana.

This ambitious photography exhibition features several Duke University faculty and alumni, including: Tom Rankin, director of the MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program, professor of the practice in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies; Chris Sims, director of Undergraduate Education, lecturing fellow in Documentary Arts, and Fall 2017 Lehman Brady fellow at the Center for Documentary Studies; and Alex Harris, professor of the practice in the Stanford School of Public Policy. Also in the exhibit are Duke alumnus and Durham native Titus Brooks Heagins (BA Political Science), and Rachel Boillot, (MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts), as well as numerous local and regional photographers.

Southbound is complemented by collaborative programs throughout Fall 2019:

Buncombe County, North Carolina, 2015. Image by Rachel Boillot. From the “Después del Día” series. Buncombe County, North Carolina.

Opening Reception at NC State
September 5 | 6-8pm | Gregg Museum of Art & Design
Remarks by Mark Sloan and Mark Long

Opening Reception at Duke
September 6 | 6–9pm | Power Plant Gallery
Remarks by Mark Sloan, Mark Long, and Randall Kenan

Ride the Bus with Titus Brooks Heagins
September 21 | 1pm | Power Plant Gallery | Reserve a Seat Here
 Join us for the opportunity to tour Southbound at both the PPG and the Gregg. Must reserve your seat on the bus.

Artist Talk with Keith Calhoun & Chandra McCormick
October 1 | 6pm | Power Plant Gallery
Courtney Reid-Eaton, exhibitions director for the Center for Documentary Studies and director of the Documentary Diversity Project, leads a discussion with New Orleans-based photographers Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick on their work in documenting African American experience around the city and the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the community and their own archives.

FSP@PPG: War and the Recreation of Culture
November 7 |  12–1:15pm | Power Plant Gallery
Join us for a panel discussion on war and the recreation of culture, inspired by the photographs of Southbound artist Chris Sims.

Film screening with Lonnie Holley
December 5 | 12pm | Full Frame Theater
Film screening with Lonnie Holley: THE MAN IS THE MUSIC, directed by Maris Curran and I Snuck Off the Slave Ship, directed by Lonnie Holley and Cyrus Moussavi. The screenings will be followed by Q&A with Lonnie Holley and Matt Arnett, producer and screenwriter for I Snuck Off the Slave Ship.

Slow Tours of Power Plant Gallery, offered by MFA | EDA Students

explore the series