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Ken Light: Course of the Empire
A decade of mounting tension in a polarized America, from Wall Street to the rural heartland
Clth, 10.5 x 11 in. / 276 pgs / 209 bw. | 9/28/2021 | In stock
Ken Light: What’s Going On?
Frontline photos counteracting the truncated memory of the 1960s promoted by the media
Clth, 12.25 x 11.25 in. / 192 pgs / 139 bw. | 1/21/2025 | Awaiting stock
Published by Steidl.
Edited by Melanie Light. Text by Ken Light.
This book of Berkeley-based photographer Ken Light’s (born 1951) earliest photos from 1969 to 1974 documents the social, cultural and political landscapes of America as they roiled with upheaval, and marks his transformation from a student activist to a concerned social documentary photographer. Light’s frontline photos show people across race, class and political lines, and counteract the truncated memory of the 1960s that has often been promoted by the media.
Light’s journey through America begins with teenagers at the beach with their transistor radio. Here is the quiet before the storm: high-school students with their Eisenhower textbook, retirees playing cards and cafeteria workers quietly striking. And then, suddenly, the new, alternative worldview bursts forth: the Vietnam Moratorium, the Republican Convention, riots, POWs returning home, Nixon’s resignation. What’s Going On? reveals how politically divided the United States was as a progressive, more egalitarian world order evolved. It stirs long-forgotten memories for those who were present, creates a cultural and historical legacy for the youth of today and argues that much of our current turmoil is the result of cataclysmic changes in the 1960s we have not yet absorbed.
Ken Light (born 1951) is a social documentary photographer with a particular focus on America. His nine books include To the Promised Land (1988), Texas Death Row (1997) and Valley of Shadows and Dreams (2012). Light has exhibited internationally, including solo shows at the International Center of Photography in New York, the Oakland Museum of California and the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester. Among his awards are two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and the Dorothea Lange Fellowship. Light is the Reva and David Logan Professor of Photojournalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
Clth, 12.25 x 11.25 in. / 192 pgs / 139 bw.
Pub Date 1/21/2025
Catalog: SPRING 2018 p. 38
ISBN 9783958293960 TRADE
List Price: $75.00 CDN $99.00
STATUS: Forthcoming | 1/21/2025
This title is not yet published in the U.S. To pre-order or receive notice when the book is available, please email orders @ artbook.com
Published by Steidl.
Text by Ken Light.
A decade ago, Ken Light (born 1951) traveled across the United States photographing a country that he realized was the most fragile of organisms. The photographs of the earlier years in this book create the context for understanding how America lost its way. Light reached all four corners of the country to document people across race, class and political lines. We see the heartland and the coastal cities, Wall Street and rural small towns.
As he continued, seismic changes erupted across America and the country descended into an age of crisis. He photographed protests and Washington politicians in Congress and the White House, climate change disasters and environmental defenders, the rise of the regime of Donald Trump, the Trump rallies and America’s reactions to it all. He comprehensively probed the fractured social and economic condition, going beyond the tropes of inequality we all recite by heart to create a visual portrait of a country mired in calamity, its people deeply splintered, angry and in pain.
The resulting portrait of the American social landscape is a riveting historical and visual record of a complicated country in a complicated time. It is compelling, and one of the earliest photographic accounts of an age that historians and citizens will be scrutinizing for generations to come.
Clth, 10.5 x 11 in. / 276 pgs / 209 bw.
Pub Date 9/28/2021
Catalog: FALL 2021 p. 99
ISBN 9783958299580 TRADE
List Price: $65.00 CDN $88.00
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