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Matt Eich

Artist Statement Submitted 2015

"Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town"

Over the course of five years I have spent more than 100 days in Greenwood, Mississippi examining a complex collision of race, class, poverty, wealth, education and opportunity. Racism rarely appears in its old form, but the cultural fallout of this phenomenon still manifests itself in the daily lives of people growing up in the American South.

The 1858 Prize would allow me to bring this work back to where it was made in multiple forms. First is a public exhibition where the work is hung from the trestles of a bridge, wheat-pasted onto buildings, widely distributed in newsprint and exhibited around the community. The second is a website that will house the photographs, sound and video I have gathered over the years along with photographs, video and text from members of the community so that our experiences of the place can sing in unison.

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