My Dakota by Rebecca Norris Webb
Opening, March 29th at Offcine Fotografiche Roma. The exibihition is curated by RVM Hub. Long a resident of New York City, Rebecca Norris Webb came of age in South Dakota and its landscape has continued to haunt her soul. In 2005, she set out to photograph her home state.
Long a resident of New York City, Rebecca Norris Webb came of age in South Dakota and its landscape has continued to haunt her soul. In 2005, she set out to photograph her home state. “The next year, my brother, Dave, died unexpectedly of heart failure,” writes Webb. “For months, one of the few things that eased my unsettled heart was the landscape of South Dakota. It seemed all I could do was drive through the badlands and prairies and photograph. I began to wonder—does loss have its own geography?”
Norris Webb, who is also a poet, wrote and handwrote the poem interwoven with her photographs here. Her initial goal for My Dakota was to produce a personal, intimate view of the American West to counteract and complement the majestic landscapes and roughneck adventures depicted by earlier photographers and painters. My Dakota grapples with humans’ impact on the land and how it has shaped their lives; it chronicles the state’s changing economy and landscape. The series is a eulogy for the disappearing family farms and the small towns supported by them and an elegy for Norris Webb’s brother, a way for the artist ro address her grief, “to absorb it, to distill it, and ultimately, let it go”.
Rebecca Norris Webb has published five photography books — including The Glass Between Us and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image. Originally a poet, Rebecca often interweaves her text and photographs in her books, most notably with My Dakota — an elegy for her brother who died unexpectedly — with a solo exhibition of the work at The Cleveland Museum of Art. Her photographs have appeared in The New Yorker, Guardian, Le Monde, among other publications, and her work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Cleveland Museum of Art, and George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY. Rebecca’s sixth book, Slant Rhymes (with Alex), is upcoming from La Fabrica in March 2017, with an accompanying exhibition in Madrid. My Dakota will be exhibited in Rome at Officine Fotografiche to celebrate the Italian edition of the book, along with an accompanying workshop, opening and gallery talk/walk through (Friday, March 31st), and joint slide talk/book signing by the Webbs (Wednesday, March 29). Their Instagram account here.