file under: #power #fossil fuel #nuclear #wind #solar #government #corporations
In American Power, Mitch Epstein investigates notions of power, both electrical and political. His focus is on energy: how it gets made, how it gets used, and the ramifications of both. From 2003 to 2008, he photographed at and around sites where fossil fuel, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and solar power are produced in the United States. The resulting photographs contain Epsteins signature complex wit, surprising detail, and formal rigor. These pictures illuminate the intersection between American society and American landscape. Here is a portrait of early 21st century America, as it clings to past comforts and gropes for a more sensible future. In an accompanying essay, Epstein discusses his method, and how making these photographs led him to think harder about the artists role in a country teetering between collapse and transformation.
Mitch Epstein’s photographs are in numerous major museum collections, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Whitney Museum of American Art; The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Tate Modern in London.
Recent solo exhibitions include: Fondation A Stichting in Brussels (2013); Sikkema Jenkins & Co., NY (2012); Thomas Zander Gallery, Cologne (2012); Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris (2011); Kunstmuseum Bonn (2011); and Musee de l’Elysee in Lausanne (2011).
In 2013, at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Epstein and cellist Erik Friedlander premiered American Power, a live performance (based on Epstein’s American Power series) that combined projected photographs, music, video and storytelling.
Epstein’s nine books include New York Arbor (Steidl 2013); Berlin (Steidl/The American Academy in Berlin, 2011); American Power (Steidl, 2009); Mitch Epstein: Work (Steidl, 2006); Recreation: American Photographs 1973-1988 (Steidl, 2005); and Family Business (Steidl, 2003), which won the 2004 Kraszna-Krausz Photography Book Award.
Winner of the 2011 Prix Pictet for his series American Power, Epstein was also awarded the 2008 Berlin Prize in Arts and Letters by the American Academy in Berlin, and a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Epstein has worked as a director, cinematographer, and production designer on several films, including Dad, Salaam Bombay!, and Mississippi Masala.
He lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.