November 2, 2021
In the aftermath of the Civil War, the “Lost Cause” emerged as a rhetorical strategy intended to rewrite the legacy of the Confederacy by capitalizing on the emotional power of nostalgia and regional uniqueness of the South. Proponents of this myth employed the evocative symbolism of ruins for Southerners who sought to locate themselves in a physical, social, and cultural landscape that had been radically transformed.
As dramatic as were the changes that took place during Reconstruction, a more all-encompassing erasure had occurred in the same states decades prior, when indigenous peoples saw their native environment and traditions disrupted and destroyed by waves of European settlers, leading to an effective disappearance of Native Americans from the South with hardly even a visible ruin left by which they might be remembered.
This artist talk explores the contemporary political dimensions of remembrance through the representation of memory and absence in Where You Come From is Gone, a series of wet-plate collodion tintype photographs documenting sites of prior Native American occupation across Alabama and Florida.
This artist talk will take place on Zoom.
Image in header: Jared Ragland and Cary Norton, Omussee Creek Mound, Henry County, Alabama, 2019, Archival pigment print from wet-plate collodion tintype