Matt Black: American Geography
The American Magnum photographer Matt Black (*1970) has frequently documented the connection between migration, poverty, agriculture and the environment in his native California and southern Mexico.
For his AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY project, he travelled over 100,000 miles through 46 states, including California, Oregon, Louisiana, Tennessee and New York. On these road trips, Black visited communities with a poverty rate above 20 percent, which could be linked together, like on a map. Seventy-eight works from these trips form the exhibition's focus, curated by Isabel Siben and the photographer, to be presented at Kunstfoyer, Versicherungskammer Kulturstiftung Munich from July 2021.
Matt Black's AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY exhibition continues Kunstfoyer's series on documentary photographers, dedicated to life's sociopolitical and social conditions. With his square, large-format, black-and-white photographs and overwhelming panoramic landscapes, Black shows us a country far from unlimited possibilities and an American society, largely characterised by poverty, lack of opportunities and political resignation.
AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY highlights the most deprived places and their people in the United States. For this project, Matt Black photographed from the deserts in the southwest, across the Black Belt in the southeast, to the post-industrial, former factory towns in the Midwest and northeast. The results are impressive: if photography can help humanise facts and figures, the map illustrates the problem's magnitude. This focus on individual emergencies thus becomes the spotlight for a nationwide issue.
Matt Black has received numerous awards, including the W. Eugene Smith Award (2015), the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award (2016) and most recently in 2018 for his work in Puerto Rico. Other awards include the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and the Center for Cultural Innovation. The AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY exhibition, supported by Olympus, travels next to the ICP International Center of Photography, New York.
A publication to coincide with the AMERICAN GEOGRAPHY exhibition will be available, published by Kunstfoyer VKB, Munich and Deichtorhallen – House of Photography, Hamburg, 68 pages, 80 photographs. Portrait format: 290 x 580 mm. English.