The American South has become a nexus of film production in the United States. By 2016, more major features were being shot in Georgia than in California. Commissioned by the High Museum in Atlanta as part of their Picturing the South series, Alex Harris explored cinematic representations of the South by visiting and photographing the making of over 40 independent fiction films across the region. Using a documentary approach to capture scenes that unfolded on or around the set, Harris’ images tell the story of a new South while also hinting at more universal aspects of life – the ways in which we are all actors in our own lives, creating our sets, practicing our lines, refining our characters, playing ourselves. These photographs also tell a story about our increasingly visual culture and explore the rapidly evolving world of independent filmmaking, one that is little known to audiences outside the film festival circuit.
“By juxtaposing the images, Harris has created a film montage of sorts that explores repeated gestures, shared color palettes or similar landscapes. An analysis of the language of film where certain conventions tend to repeat… It moves beyond documentary into a new realm. It feels like both a cogent study of human behavior and how that reality is repackaged in movies.”