'Good Morning, America' by Mark Power exhibition opens at Magnum Print Room, London

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'Good Morning, America' by Mark Power exhibition opens at Magnum Print Room, London
Sidney, Montana 10.2018 © Mark Power / Magnum Photos.

LONDON.- Good Morning, America is an ongoing 10-year project by photographer Mark Power, creating a visual narrative of a country in the midst of change. It is a personal and timely exploration of both the American cultural and physical landscape, and the divergence of reality and myth. This exhibition, coinciding with the start of a momentous year in US politics, will look back at a selection of images which have defined and shaped the project so far.

Power is from a generation who grew up in the English suburbs of the 1960s, enchanted by the TV shows which crossed the Atlantic from the US - a form of cultural imperialism – and in particular the allure and myth of the western. When he began photographing in the US, Power subconsciously began searching for this mythical landscape – one which perhaps never existed at all. Combined with Power’s outlook as an outsider – a foreigner, travelling to and from the country – this photographic survey presents a unique and shifting perspective on this complicated period in America’s history.

The seeds of Power’s ambitious project began in 2012 when he became involved in the ‘Postcards from America’ initiative, but he had larger aspirations for the scope and longevity of his work in the US. Good Morning, America will become a series of five books, the third of which will be published in the autumn of 2020 by GOST Books.

‘This is a condensed edit of what is fast becoming a monumental body of work consisting of several thousand photographs. It is easily the most ambitious project I’ve undertaken (and probably ever will) as I continue to make several visits to America each year. It was never my initial intention, but slowly and inexorably I’m collecting pictures from all 50 States (I’ve just passed 40) and this is now dictating where I travel to next. And while the search for an ultimately fictitious America - born in the mind of an impressionable child during the 60s - continues to underpin the work, the project has naturally shifted as I become more familiar with my subject(s). But that said, I continue to avidly retain my position as someone from somewhere else.

While the project would seem to echo countless other American ‘road trips’, these pictures are in fact made during long walks through a series of towns and cities, which allows quieter, perhaps more contemplative pictures to emerge. I’m attempting to construct a complex narrative, but I don’t think of myself as a storyteller. I see a multitude of subjects as interconnected, each affecting and informing the other. This exhibition, like the books, is a work-in-progress; I have a sense that I’m building an enormous jigsaw puzzle but with little idea what the final, completed picture will be.’ - Mark Power

Mark Power (b.1959) studied painting at Brighton College of Art, but turned to photography soon afterwards. He worked on editorial and charity commissions for ten years, before he began teaching at the University of Brighton in 1992, a post he held for 25 years, which coincided with a shift towards long-term, self-initiated projects. His work has been seen in numerous galleries and museums across the world, and is held in several collections, including the British Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Marrakech Museum of Photography and Visual Art. To date, Power has published 11 books, including The Shipping Forecast (1997); 26 Different Endings (2007); The Sound of Two Songs (2010) and Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of the Experiment (2016). Power joined Magnum Photos as a Nominee in 2002, and became a full Member in 2007.

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