Artist: Dylan Yarbrough
Project: A Southern Myth
Description: In a region so heavily loaded with cultural tropes and stereotypes, sometimes the most important—and most difficult—question one can ask is which, if any, are true? Dylan Yarbrough grew up in Little Rock, and felt personally affected by the South’s complicated, ever-shifting sense of identity, its influence of family and tradition, faith and spirituality, history and inheritance. In the resulting photographs of his project, A Southern Myth, Yarbrough searches for the visual markers of these influences, assuming a photographic language where “‘myth’ is used as a poetic device to narrate a struggle for both the artist and the region to maintain a sense of identity.” In a mix of large format and 35mm images, Yarbrough tours the streets and sidewalks of Arkansas, noting the subtle and not-so-subtle textures and messages of that place. Viewed in succession, Yarbrough’s photos identify moments of contrast and connection between his home’s more authentic identity and the dubious labels often thrust upon it.