In White Noise American photographer Mark Peterson (born 1955) examines the rhetoric of the White House on immigration and Muslim bans, and how this echoes and intersects with nationalism, Western chauvinism, white supremacy, neo-Nazis and all those calling for an ethnostate in America. Peterson, whose photos have been featured in the New York Times, Fortune, Time Magazine and elsewhere, began his project as a means to understand the divisive mood of the country following the 2016 presidential election. His often confronting subjects include anti-Muslim rallies in New York; families on Confederate Memorial Day in the South; white nationalists protesting in Charlottesville, preceding the murder of Heather Heyer; leaders of the Ku Klux Klan in their homes; burning swastikas.
The result is a vital and unsettling portrait of the normalization of this reality in the United States; in the words of Claudia Rankine, who contributes an essay: “What our government won’t acknowledge Mark Peterson has. His images focus on the terror that has taken advantage of our refusal to look it squarely in its face and acknowledge it as homegrown and thriving.”
Published by Steidl. Text by Claudia Rankine, John Heilemann.
Over the past 10 years, New York–based photographer Mark Peterson (born 1955) has focused his lens on America’s divided political landscape. The Past Is Never Dead takes up Peterson’s ongoing documentation where his award-winning book Political Theatre, depicting the troubled lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, left off. He captures a time in which the left and right move further apart, misinformation and untruths abound in the media, and politicians have no qualms in breaking the fourth wall to recruit audiences to their causes. Peterson portrays a country on edge, through subjects such as "Stop the Steal" protesters and the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol. With his trademark flash and high-contrast approach, Peterson’s dramatic black-and-white images are like X-rays of America’s complex political culture: "Democracy is a messy form of government," he declares, "and I try and capture it in all its chaos."
Over the past two years New York–based Mark Peterson (born 1955) has photographed American presidential candidates as they lead rallies, meet with the public and plead for votes. He began documenting the race shortly before the government shutdown in 2013 at a Tea Party rally at the US Capitol, when politicians were railing against President Obama and the Affordable Care Act. Since then Peterson has followed the political spin as it approaches the November 2016 election, creating already-famous images of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Sarah Palin, Chris Christie and others, cutting through the staging of their personalities and revealing the cold, naked ambition for power. This volume documents what has been widely described as the most polarized and bizarre presidential race in American history.
Mark Peterson's work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, New York, Fortune, Time, ESPN The Magazine and Geo, among many others. His numerous awards include a W. Eugene Smith support grant. Peterson’s book Acts of Charity was published in 2004 by Powerhouse Books.