On May 3, 2020, at 12.00 EDT / 18.00 CET, the VII Agency hosts a live online event with Tomas van Houtryve. The Belgian photographer will discuss his monograph ‘Lines and Lineage’ (published by Radius Books in autumn 2019).
‘Lines and Lineage’ addresses a blindspot in US history: the time before 1848, when Mexico ruled what we now think of as the American West. Responding to the lack of photographic records from this period, Houtryve decided to portray direct descendants of the area’s early inhabitants. The images were taken with a 19th-century plate camera, and developed using the elaborate collodion process – whereby the photographic material has to be coated, exposed and developed within a 15-minute timespan.
The deceptively authentic-looking portraits are paired in diptychs with images of landscapes along the original border, as well as architecture from the Mexican period. The result is a poignant revelation of this little-discussed aspect of American history. ‘Lines and Lineage’ was chosen as the winning project of the prestigious Roger Pic Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Leica Oskar Barnack Award.
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Interactive Book Club. ‘Lines and Lineage’ by Tomas van Houtryve