Notes on Design
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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.
September 1, 2017