Photographer Casts Serene View Of Hartsfield-Jackson At High Museum

Mark Steinmetz’s photographs are on view at the High Museum now through June 3. Mark Steinmetz (American, born 1961), Untitled, 2012, gelatin silver print.
(Courtesy of the artist and Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, Georgia.© Mark Steinmetz)

If you step back from the awesome amount of traffic that passes through Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport – both of the human and vehicular variety – you might find moments of serenity. That’s what photographer Mark Steinmetz found, anyway.

The Athens-based artist was commissioned by the High Museum of Art as part of their “Picturing the South” series. The result is the exhibit “Terminus,” which is on view now.

“He gets into a lot of the ambiguity and paradox that the airport embodies,” The High Museum’s assistant curator of photography Greg Harris tells City Lights host Lois Reitzes. “On the one hand, it’s this big, complex, modern construction. And yet all around are these undeveloped areas, there are forests. So there’s this contrast between the natural and the man-made.”

“Mark, generally speaking, as an artist is really interested in people who are in transition of one kind or another,” Harris says. “The airport really is this transitional space.”

“And within the airport, it’s this bureaucratic mess,” he laughs, “people are stuck in lines, they’re being delayed for one reason or another. And yet Mark photographs people who are having these quiet, contemplative moments in the middle of this chaos going on around them.”

Mark Steinmetz’s photographs are on view at the High Museum now through June 3.

This story originally appeared with an audio interview on WABE.org.

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