Oxford American editor Roger Hodge calls the book “a masterpiece of documentary art.” Renowned photographer Alec Soth says it’s “an American classic.” An event celebrating the publication of One Place: Paul Kwilecki and Four Decades of Photographs from Decatur County, Georgia, will include a talk and signing by Center for Documentary Studies director Tom Rankin, the book’s editor. A reception beforehand will allow guests to view an exhibit of the same name featuring selected photos from the book; One Place will be on view at CDS through July 27, 2013.
View a multimedia slideshow with Rankin below. Click here for a feature story and slideshow that appeared on the New York Times photography blog, Lens.
Reception, talk, and book signing with Tom Rankin
Thursday, April 25, 6–9 p.m.
Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina
While Paul Kwilecki (1928–2009) ranks among the most important American documentary photographers of the twentieth century, he is also one of the least well known. The self-taught artist was born and lived his entire life in Bainbridge, Georgia, running the family hardware store, raising a family, and documenting life in his community over the course of four decades, making hundreds of masterful and intimate black-and-white prints. “I know of no single body of images with a reach and resonance to match what Paul did in Decatur County,” says Rankin. One Place includes more than two hundred of Kwilecki’s images as well as selected prose. In a recent interview with CDS digital arts and publishing intern Joel Mora, Rankin gave some insight into Kwilecki’s style and work ethic.
One Place is published by the Center for Documentary Studies in partnership with the University of North Carolina Press, part of the Documentary Arts and Culture Series. The Paul Kwilecki Photographs and Papers Collection is held in the Archive of Documentary Arts at the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University.
Praise for One Place:
“One of the best and most important books to come from the South, ever….”
–Clyde Edgerton, writer, from a review in Garden & Gun
“One Place is a deep reflection on one artist’s tilling of the soil at the heart of home, but mostly, these words and images are about time, what lasts, what doesn’t.”
–Natasha Trethewey, U.S. Poet Laureate
“One Place is a masterpiece of documentary art.”
–Roger Hodge, editor-in-chief, Oxford American magazine
“There is something downright supernatural about Kwilecki’s accomplishment. . . .It is a monumental chronicle of the real, messy, complicated, redeemed and redeeming American spirit.”
–Randall Kenan, author of Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century
“Paul Kwilecki’s photographs and writings, and Tom Rankin’s introduction, offer evidence of a masterful visual drama of life in the South.”
–Deborah Willis, photographer, author of Posing Beauty and Reflections in Black
“As full of riches as Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County, Kwilecki’s sustained portrayal of Decatur County is an American classic.”
–Alec Soth, photographer, author of From Here to There: Alec Soth’s America