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Ryan Steed

Artist Statement Submitted 2015

I am a Southern photographer. I am haunted by my roots. My work has always been about documenting the moment to produce social and cultural commentary on a region that takes pride in its definition unlike any other place in the country. Southerners are curators without white gloves. The region is eternally trying to save face. We repress certain elements of our past, our politics, our religion, our sexuality, while at the same time praising all these things. This region is a didactic contradiction. The South doesn’t go out to fetch the mail without putting on makeup. Southerners are constantly witnessing things dying away. Right before something breathes its last, be it landscape, structure, or conviction, we try to revive it, forever trying to grab hold of a fleeting moment. My work is a Southern take on Cartier-Bresson’s belief in the decisive moment; I will be forever chasing fleetingness.

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