ATL
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ATL

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  • Nazraeli Press 2024
  • Hardback, 1st edition, 80p
  • New

American photographer Mark Steinmetz photographed the people and environs of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport between 2012 and 2019 as part of the High Museum of Art’s Picturing the South series, a photographic archive that examines a range of themes specific to the American South. 

The 64 black-and-white images in ATL emphasize “the quiet transitional moments in this liminal world,” writes curator Gregory J. Harris in the volume’s introduction. Steinmetz captures “the more introspective moments” of travel in and out of the world’s most heavily trafficked airport and includes travelers of all ages “leaving one chapter of their lives and going to another,” as the artist stated in a 2019 interview at the museum. Airline pilots, ground personnel, flight attendants, and janitors are also pictured, always working, often waiting; they share a space with the travelers but remain apart. 

Steinmetz also turns his focus to the open spaces around the airport, presenting vast, overgrown, and often unpeopled areas that provide a sharp contrast to the busy workings of the airport and its constantly changing population. A selection of images taken from aircraft windows depict the graphic beauty of clouds, light streaks, and jet trails, echoing the “sense of levity and mystery” felt by those traveling, as well as those viewing the photographs. 

Though taken over a period of years, this collection of images evokes the distinct timelessness of air travel, “capturing ordinary yet captivating human dramas that play out in the public spaces across the airport.” ATL is the 15th volume of Mark Steinmetz’s work published by Nazraeli Press. 

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