After the presentations and discussion, the FSP director of programs and senior research scholar, Lou Brown, who moderated the panel, wrote a blog post exploring some of the themes raised by the artists' work.
Where: NC Museum of History, 5 East Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
Friday, September 4, 6:30-8:00 pm Due to the high level of interest in this program, the Museum will begin to hand out free tickets to this event beginning at 5:30 pm. Come early to secure your seat!
What can photos, archival documents, personal recollections, and video reveal about the people who once inhabited a place and the circumstances that caused them to leave it behind? What affects the decisions a photographer or filmmaker makes about how to document a place and where to focus the viewer’s gaze? How do personal relationships affect those decisions? In this discussion, five documentarians discuss their own journeys into places that were once filled with life but gradually became shadows and skeletons of that past vitality. Their photographs and films connect viewers to the lives that once filled these places, prompting imaginations and memories to fill the voids. But the documentary works also reflect the personal connections the photographers and filmmakers have to the sites they document. Each of the panelists has a unique story to tell about why and how they chose to document a particular place. Showing examples of their work, they will explore how their own connections to a place affected those choices and what they hope to convey to a viewer.
This program was inspired by the ongoing exhibition, Rural Revival: Photographs of Home and Preservation of Place at the North Carolina Museum of History, featuring the work of North Carolina-based photographer Scott Garlock, who will be a panelist for the discussion.
Presented as part of the NC Museum of History's programming for Raleigh's First Fridays arts events.
Panelists and topics:
Scott Garlock will share interior photos from an abandoned home he visited in eastern North Carolina in 2013. He'll put together stories of the former residents with images of the things they left behind, and he'll also prompt us to look closely not just at what was left behind, but at how the placement of those items adds to our understanding of the relationships among the people to whom they belonged.
Alex Harris will present photos he made in New Mexico years ago of an abandoned home that belonged to a man named Amadeo Sandoval. He’ll talk about how he met Amadeo, tell some of Amadeo’s story, and describe how he photographed the house shortly after Amadeo’s wife died and then again one year later.
Jon-Sesrie Goff will present clips from his documentary film exploring a plot of land in the low country of South Carolina that has been in his family for generations. Despite the fact that there is no longer a structure on the land, the place continues to have a strong hold on the family. But this story isn't about just his story, but about broader historical trends of African-American families leaving and returning to the South.
Dan Smith will present photographs of abandoned buildings he encountered while en-route to make a documentary about the violent death of a family member in eastern North Carolina. Smith will talk about how he came to understand the connections between the abandoned places and the documentary project.
Alina Taalman will present excerpts from her recent work "Quiet Title," a documentary essay film exploring her family's experiences living in a historic colonial house in rural Connecticut. Drawing from the public archive of maps and land records, and the personal archive of photographs, dreams and memories, the film attempts to uncover the history of the house, and the spirits it continues to shelter.
Moderator: Lou Brown, Forum for Scholars and Publics