This fall The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia will exhibit “Edge to Edge”, the first ever state-wide survey of contemporary Georgia photography. The work that has been selected for “Edge to Edge” was chosen for its visual strength, expressive sophistication, and technical artistry. As such the exhibition will serve as a testament to the power of photography itself.
Photography has taken a prominent place in the artistic culture of the contemporary South. Once limited to the traditional themes of the rural and historic south; of rustic barns and rusted trucks; of simple living and country ways, the photographs in this exhibition are modern and reflect a more diverse and complicated world. The pictures were made between the final days of the 20th century and the birth of the 21st. They mirror modern concerns and coincide with the transition from traditional wet process photography to the technical wonders of the digital age. The photographs reveal a more diverse, vibrant and unsettled south which is part of a new demographic that finds most southerners living in urban and suburban centers. The work in this exhibit will reflect many of the changes that are redefining the modern south.
The works by Georgia’s photographers span an eccentric range from familiar and comfortable themes to poetic and provocative evocations, to images that are disquieting and disturbing. These pictures will challenge the viewer who is expecting southern stereotypes with mysterious narratives, poetic revelations, and complex abstractions. The exhibition will present a richly diverse array of the many varied ways contemporary photography is being used artistically and expressively by photographers from across our state, corner to corner and edge to edge.
Edge to Edge is being dedicated to Georgia born photographer Paul Kwilecki (1928-2009), who has been described as “the greatest documentary photographer you’ve never heard of”. Kwilecki was born in the small southwestern town of Bainbridge, Georgia and ran his family’s hardware store for decades. A self-taught photographer, Kwilecki passionately documented life in Decatur County Georgia for more than 40 years. Over time he became a masterful printmaker with an elegant eye. He never photographed elsewhere. Kwilecki eventually received a coveted Guggenheim Fellowship for his work. His photographs are archived at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. We honor Paul for his dedication and commitment to photography. And we honor him because he is one of our own.