“Welcome to Misery”: Original Photographs

Volume 7, Number 3, Fall 2001

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“Welcome to Misery”: Original Photographs

by Dan Sears
Southern Cultures, Vol. 7, No.3: Fall 2001

"Sears has found the only region where misery is a state of mind and a seaside dock, where a gravestone will mark both a lifetime and a locality simply with a sentimental 'here,' and where even horses know better than northerners how to avoid summer heat."

Artists and critics long have considered the South to be a territory whose character and ethos depend, perhaps more than any other region in this country, upon sense of place. Former AP and UPI photographer Dan Sears, whose work we first published in our Fall 2000 issue, has logged hundreds of miles over the course of his “Southern Scenes” project, capturing on film terrain that not only falls well-within the sometimes shifting borders that historians and sociologists assign to the South, but which also represents southern atmosphere, mood, disposition, and humor. Sears has found the only region where misery is a state of mind and a seaside dock, where a gravestone will mark both a lifetime and a locality simply with a sentimental “here,” where an abandoned station stands in a field resolutely waiting for the next train, and where even horses know better than northerners how to avoid summer heat. We’re pleased to offer a second helping of Dan Sears’s photography. His “Southern Scenes” are not merely set in the South–they are the South.