Invisible Yoke / MATT EICH
Exhibit opening, screening, & talk
Tuesday July 15, 2014, 7:30 PM
Moderated by Anna Van Lenten, Half King Photo Series curator
For the last eight years, I have used photography to obsessively document microcosms of the American experience in order to understand how our country and our people will adapt and survive as a fading superpower in a globalized world. My focus has been on three communities in Ohio, Mississippi, and Virginia—places that, respectively, embody the impact of the withdrawal of extractive industry, long-term legacies of racism and segregation, and economic reliance on the military industrial complex. By examining the specifics of these individual communities, I am hoping to achieve a more universal understanding of the American socioeconomic and geographic landscape.
Engaging the poetic nature of photography, I aim to touch on visual notes that already exist in our collective consciousness, but to do so in a resonant manner, leaving enough room for interpretation. The resulting images are depictions of the real, with a dose of the imagined. As a finished project, The Invisible Yoke will take the form of a book and installation designed to draw into question who are we as Americans and where we are headed as a nation.
MATT EICH (b. 1986) is an independent photographer living in Norfolk, Virginia, who works on long-form projects about the American experience. As a kid he mowed enough lawns to buy his first camera, and after that worked at a Ritz Camera store, going on to study photojournalism at Ohio University from 2004 - 2008. Since those glory days, he’s made photographs for clients in the United States ranging from National Geographic to GQ, Esquire, and Apple, as well as clients in Peru, Rwanda, Botswana, India, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Over the years he’s won numerous awards for his work including being named one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers and being selected for the Joop Swart Masterclass. Eich has placed prints in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The Portland Art Museum, the New York Public Library, and elsewhere.