Porch Portraits - PHOTOPAPER Magazine by Susan Meiselas - Signed Book – Magnum Photos

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South Carolina & Mississippi 1974

I would drive down a road, see a house, stop my car and hope that someone would open their door. I hadn’t planned what I would say. I began by explaining that I was teaching photography in the local elementary school, that I came from the North, and would like to take their photo. I didn’t really know why. As my work has evolved, it’s rarely been focused on portraits. Portraits usually aren’t an expression of a sustained relationship. I often find them to be awkward and tense encounters. Now, from a distance of more than 40 years, there are so many more questions that I wish I had asked, but maybe didn’t feel that I could. These photographs come from a time when tenderness was still possible. We could see each other, if only for a moment. Each exchange led me to make a picture and when I returned home I sent every family a print in the form of an enlarged postcard. That process was most important to me. They had welcomed me to trespass. The postcard was simply a gesture to acknowledge that crossing we shared. I wonder now how their lives have evolved. Looking back at myself as a young white woman making this work leads me to rethink my own connection to the history of the South, which I knew so little about then.
Susan Meiselas, May 2018

  • Signed by Susan Meiselas
  • Format: Softcover
  • Pages: 32
  • Size: 8.3 x 11.4 inches (21 x 29cm)n
  • Publisher: PHOTOPAPER
  • Publication Year: 2018

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PHOTOPAPER presents printed photographic work in single monographic issues nominated by invited guests and PHOTOPAPER editors. This edition of PHOTOPAPER is a “master” issue of an unpublished body of work from well-known masters in photography.

Signed by Susan Meiselas


South Carolina & Mississippi 1974

I would drive down a road, see a house, stop my car and hope that someone would open their door. I hadn’t planned what I would say. I began by explaining that I was teaching photography in the local elementary school, that I came from the North, and would like to take their photo. I didn’t really know why. As my work has evolved, it’s rarely been focused on portraits. Portraits usually aren’t an expression of a sustained relationship. I often find them to be awkward and tense encounters. Now, from a distance of more than 40 years, there are so many more questions that I wish I had asked, but maybe didn’t feel that I could. These photographs come from a time when tenderness was still possible. We could see each other, if only for a moment. Each exchange led me to make a picture and when I returned home I sent every family a print in the form of an enlarged postcard. That process was most important to me. They had welcomed me to trespass. The postcard was simply a gesture to acknowledge that crossing we shared. I wonder now how their lives have evolved. Looking back at myself as a young white woman making this work leads me to rethink my own connection to the history of the South, which I knew so little about then.
Susan Meiselas, May 2018

  • Signed by Susan Meiselas
  • Format: Softcover
  • Pages: 32
  • Size: 8.3 x 11.4 inches (21 x 29cm)n
  • Publisher: PHOTOPAPER
  • Publication Year: 2018

The Magnum Shop usually ships orders at least three times a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To calculate shipping please go to your Cart.

International Orders:
Please note that if you choose First Class International for orders up to 4lbs or up to $400, delivery can take up to 30 days and tracking may not be available for your country.

If you choose Priority Mail International for your order delivery usually takes between 6 to 10 days depending on your country. Tracking will always be available.

If you prefer a different shipping method or an alternative shipping company, please email shop@magnumphotos.com. All shipments are insured.