Deep South. Photographs by Sally Mann. Bulfinch, New York, 2005. 120 pp. Large quarto. Second printing. SIGNED on title page. Clothound in photoillustrated dust jacket. 65 tritone reproductions.
"At times gothic in their sensibility, Mann's murky, dark images of Louisiana and Mississippi have an anthropomorphic quality. One image of a forest floor focuses on a group of gnarled roots writhing in a sea of mist. Mann's technique enhances this hazy view, turning this ordinary plot of land into something magical and foreboding. Other images focus upwards, capturing the last remaining columns of a plantation home. These abandoned monoliths seem as ancient as the trees that surround them, less the product of human hands than of the land itself. An image of a tree in Woodville, Mississippi becomes a striking symbol of the condition of the South. Cutting deep into its trunk, a massive scar becomes the focal point of an otherwise idyllic image; and yet the tree continues to thrive, just as the South itself. "These pictures are about the rivers of blood, of tears, of sweat that Africans poured into the dark soil of their thankless new home," writes Mann, remarking on the difference in tone between the "Deep South" and "Mother Land" images. Pregnant with unseen histories and the anonymous footsteps of millions, Mann's tea-stained, antique-looking images depict a landscape of the present in the throes of the past."--From the excellent PBS "Art21" site, READ MORE, hear an interview, see more images, and learn just about everything you'd ever wanted to know about Sally Mann.