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Good Morning, America (Volume II) is the second in an ongoing series of five books by photographer Mark Power – a visual narrative of a country in the midst of change. This 10-year project is a personal and timely exploration of both the American cultural and physical landscape, and the divergence of reality and myth.
Since completing the first book, Power has travelled to rural locations where farming is the dominant industry, from the Great Plains of the Dakotas and Montana to the snowbound terrain of the Pacific Northwest. He also visited the Californian border with Mexico and made a return to the Rust Belt – more overtly politically-charged regions. Since the books are being published as work-in-progress, while Power continues to make frequent further trips, the photographs in this series are organised neither by geography nor by subject. Instead, Good Morning, America (Volume II) continues to draw on photographs made from the very beginning of the project in 2012, alongside more recent photographs of the past few months.
'I have a keen sense that I’m assembling a large and complicated jigsaw puzzle with little idea of what the final picture will be. Nevertheless, America continues to enthrall and frustrate me in equal measure… over the decades I’ve learned that separating projects—America in this case—into single ‘micro-subjects’ doesn’t sit comfortably with me. The world is too complicated for that. Instead, I continue to collect pictures of many subjects that seem to me to be interconnected. I might suggest that this is the easy part; making sense of what I’m doing, by editing an already overwhelming body of work into sequences that begin to speak of what I’ve seen, is more difficult’
Power is from a generation who grew up in the English suburbs of the 1960s, enchanted by the numerous TV shows that crossed the Atlantic from the US, and in particular the allure and myth of the western. When he began photographing in the US, Power began to search for this mythical landscape, even though he knew in his heart it had probably never existed at all. This, combined with Power’s position as an outsider, a foreigner traveling to and from the country, this photographic survey presents a unique and ever-shifting perspective on a complicated time in America’s history.
Mark Power (B.1959) studied painting and drawing at Brighton Polytechnic but turned to photography soon after graduating. He worked on editorial and charity commissions for ten years, before he began teaching at the University of Brighton in 1992 (until 2017). This coincided with a shift towards long-term, self-initiated projects which sit comfortably alongside large-scale commissions in the industrial sector. His work has been seen in numerous galleries and museums across the world and is in several public and private collections, including the Arts Council of England, the British Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Marrakech Museum of Photography and Visual Art.
Power joined Magnum Photos as a Nominee in 2002, and became a full Member in 2007. He lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England. Good Morning, America is his eleventh book.
Good Morning, America (Volume II)｜Mark Power｜ISBN 978-1-910401-32-3｜317 x 245 mm｜166 pages｜70 full colour images, 15 foldout pages｜Hardback clothbound, foil debossed｜Published by GOST Books｜Jul 2019