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These impressionistic, rarely seen images by prominent French photographer and critic Gilles Mora evoke the disappearing culture of the Deep South.

Éditions Lamaindonne, France
September 2016
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176 pages | 12.125 x 8.25 | 141 color photographs |

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In 1972, Gilles Mora and his wife Françoise left France to teach the French language in public schools in Louisiana. At the time, he knew nothing about photography. Fascinated by the Deep South, however, Mora soon started a photographic project on its culture. Greatly influenced by artists such as Walker Evans, Ben Shahn, Eudora Welty, and Clarence John Laughlin; playing music with some of the major figures of the rockabilly scene, including Carl Perkins; and infused with the sensuality of the South, Mora produced a unique body of pictures over more than twenty years. Rarely exhibited or published, the images in Antebellum present a kind of travelogue, a photographic recording of Mora’s personal mythologies, which evoke the disappearing world of the Deep South.


GILLES MORAMontpellier, FranceMora was the editor in chief of the magazine Les Cahiers de la Photographie from 1981 to 1993. He was an editor with Editions du Seuil in Paris between 1992 and 2007, the artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles between 1999 and 2001, and, since 2011, has been the director of the city of Montpellier’s Pavillon Populaire, a prominent photographic museum. A specialist in American photography, Mora has written or cowritten important monographs on artists Walker Evans, Edward Weston, W. E. Smith, Charles Sheeler, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, and Aaron Siskind, as well as on the Farm Security Administration photographers. In 2007, he was awarded the Nadar Prize for The Last Photographic Heroes: American Photographers of the Sixties and Seventies.