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Deep Springs.

Photographs by Sam Contis.
Mack, London, England, 2017. 128 pp., 8¼x10½".

Publisher's Description

The images in Sam Contis's Deep Springs were made in a remote valley just east of the Sierra Nevada and north of Death Valley. The work centres on a small, all-male liberal arts college, founded in 1917 as a site of alternative education. There, amid the wide expanse of mountainous desert, academic study is, to this day, combined with manual labour on the school’s cattle ranch and farm. The college and its surroundings provide a stage on which Contis is able to explore broader themes of the construction of myth, place, and masculine identity. Bringing together her own photographs with archival pictures made at the college nearly a century ago, Deep Springs engages with the enduring image of the American West––one that Hollywood, mass media, and the history of American photography have imprinted into the collective psyche.

Sam Contis (b.1982) lives and works in California. Her work is represented in the collections of LACMA and the Yale University Art Gallery, and has recently been exhibited at the Fotomuseum Antwerp, Gallery Luisotti in Los Angeles, and Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery in New York. She holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from New York University. In 2017 she will have her first solo museum show at the Berkeley Art Museum. Deep Springs is her first book.

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