Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography 2018 Finalist Allison Beondé

My current project is a contemplative meditation on the American South, exploring a broad range of spaces, structures, and objects that have become normalized into the everyday, and the traces of history embedded within. As a whole, the work invites a slowing down, a re-evaluation and contemplation of the environments that we move within, and traces an altered landscape through the seemingly mundane—where the region’s violent past remains. Borrowing, in part, from the formal aesthetics of historical collections, technical manuals, typographies, and criminology, I’m aiming to build a catalogue of subjects both easily ignored and significant in their own right—bail bond offices, vines, hi-rise buildings, windows enveloped in burglar bars, trampled grass, city street corners, a bit of rope. Aside from the more direct moments where history confronts us—it can be easy to imagine that these issues are based in some form of distanced past, something that is ‘behind’ us. Simultaneously ordinary and confrontational, these images beg for a re-examination of what is being seen—a shifting of perspective. Moments of repetition plea for a form of ‘historical meditation,’ a deeper awareness of the things that surround us and the origins of their design.

- Allison Beondé

Congratulations to all of the Finalists in the 2018 Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography