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Deep South Hardcover – September 28, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Mann rose to prominence with Immediate Family, a collection of photographs of her children that some saw as emotionally direct and others found disturbingly erotic. Regardless, these photographs, and her subsequent work, demonstrate that Mann has a preternatural eye for light and composition. In this book, Mann, inspired by "a cache of glass negatives...of familiar local places," set off with her camera through the South, using eighteenth century photographic techniques to capture the "radical light of the American South," and the results are fascinating. In Georgia, a column of leaves dissipates into a luminous mist; in Virginia, a scumbled field with an empty cart in the distance suggests a test shot by Matthew Brady. Many of these photographs are startling in their intimations of violence: in the section called "Deep South," Mann depicts the thick shaft of a venerable tree with a wound-like, horizontal slash near the trunk. Mann has also included the inevitable mistakes involved with such a tricky process: indiscernible unhappy accidents and washed-out near-abstractions. This is brave but puzzling. In one of her short essays, Mann writes that the Southern dusk makes "the landscape soft and vague, as if inadequately summoned by some shiftless deity, casually neglectful of the details." A god may enjoy such prerogatives, but shouldn't artists be more mindful? Most of the 65 images here are hauntingly beautiful and offer a stunning tour of a very off-the-beaten-path part of the country.
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"A collection of soulful landscapes." -- Photograph, Sept/Oct 2005
"A stunning collection of tritone photographs reinvents the art of landscape photography..." -- FORECAST, August 2005
"In 'Deep South,' Mann has conjured up a breathtaking photographic elegy to the South and its dark history." -- New York Post, October 2, 2005
"Showcasing a mastery of the genre with some of her finest, most moving work to date." -- Photo-eye, Fall 2005
"The images are deeply arresting, mysterious, quiet, and incredibly beautiful." -- PICTURE magazine, Sept/Oct 2005
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The quality of her images - (and I don't know how she does it...indeed content aside Mann seems to hold technical camera skills that Providence bestowed upon her alone) - gives her images a wonderful sense of depth so that one almost feels as if they are standing there, by the water's edges, for instance, while at the same time in a landscape of dreams. In a class of herself in modern art, for me her landscapes here bring to mind the work of the J.M.W. Turner for their combination of visual depth while still holding impressionist qualities.
All the images are great. The ones I took particular note on, though, are on pages
39, 41, 51, 61, 69, 71, 81
I thank her for giving me the chance to get to know this amazing photographer and in particular this book. This is a collection of nature photos that often look like scenes from a dream. It is a real work of art - intriguing, poetic and inspiring.