Zoetrope: All Story Artist Feature

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All the pictures in this edition of Zoetrope: All-Story were made prior to the events in Charlottesville.

My most recent work focuses on the dystopian underside of the American dream that led to the election and continued support of Donald Trump. One series, Premonitions (2008—16), printed for the first time this year, documents symbolic gestures found in the landscape during the Obama administration. The other series, The Writing on the Wall (2017—present), highlights graffiti left on abandoned buildings and rocky outcroppings throughout the desert Southwest.

Joining me are two young artists whose photographs I see as profound rejoinders and resonant contributions to this particular moment in our history.

Wesaam Al-Badry is a thirty-three-year-old student at the San Francisco Art Institute. The police and military sometimes use for target practice images of what could be described as stereotypical "Muslim" terrorists. Al-Badry substitutes flowers for weapons before rephotographing them.

Johnnie Chatman is a twenty-seven-year-old student at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Published here is a selection from an ongoing series of self-portraits in the American landscape.

Richard Misrach
September 1, 2017

*To view the issue, Volume 21 Number 3: Fall 2017 and purchase your copy please click here.


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At about midnight last Thursday, I got off the #1 bus in the Outer Richmond and noticed something was ... off. The fog seemed ominously dark above me, but Geary was lit up as normal. Turning towards my house, I realized that a power outage had caused a blackout from 32nd to 44th, between Balboa and Geary Ave. The fog was so thick that it made the darkness seem to reach out for me on the eerie walk towards my house. 

It was as if a dome had been placed over the Outer Richmond. No candles, no flashlights, no noise, not much of anything except faint glow of the city against the fog, and eventually, the isolated beams of the emergency crews. I grabbed a thicker coat and my camera in an attempt to document such a rare, unsettling evening...."

To read more and see the full spread of images click here.