I/Eye: On Photography

Rural Route Two

Posted in Uncategorized by Sheila Newbery on January 7, 2011

After perusing online the second issue of Rural Route Two, featuring James Luckett and Lydia Moyer, I’m looking forward to more (and to receiving the magazine in print). Edited by Travis and Angela Shaffer, RR2 focuses on activity outside of established  urban/art centers with the aim of drawing attention to regional identity in the photographic arts. It’s available in digital and print issues and will be appearing on a bi-monthly basis.

Initiatives like RR2 evince a marked burgeoning of confidence on the part of independent photography publishers (who are often artists themselves),  and it will be interesting to see in what ways the magazine’s choices are inflected by its mission.  I’m already an admirer of Luckett’s work (see my review in August 2010 of his self-published Suginami). Moyer’s contribution to the current issue focuses on portrayals of white women in D. W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation (premiered as The Clansman) overlaid with images taken from the deep woods of Alabama, where lynchings took place.* Moyer writes that her images are an attempt to connect Griffith’s “filmic images of feminine beauty to their much more insidious employment as the impetus for violence”.

You can visit and/or subscribe to Rural Route Two here.

*On a ‘regional’ note: Though the Klan may seem a distant, historical curiosity to people living in metropolitan centers in the northern and western parts of the US, Griffith’s glorification of its role during Reconstruction was immensely influential, and the shadow of intimidation cast by the Klan in the Virginia of my youth was palpable. I can still remember the story of a Klan encounter told to me in the early 70s: a young couple — the young woman was the daughter of a family friend — got lost in the back roads of southwestern Virginia late at night. They pulled over to ask directions, but had the misfortune to stumble into a local Klan gathering. They were made to stand, execution-style, against a sloping embankment, and a Klansman fired live rounds in a semi-circle around them, leaving them terrified, if physically uninjured. They were told never to return to that place.  Thinking back on this story, I realize the encounter must have taken place some time in the decade of 1965–1975.

One Response

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  1. Travis Shaffer said, on January 14, 2011 at 9:44 pm

    Thanks for the mention… glad that you enjoy the zine.

    best regards,

    Travis


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