Good Morning, America (Volume One) is the first in a series of five books by Power, created as the result of this ongoing 10-year project, as he meanders back and forth across the vast country, taking long walks through towns and cities along the way.
‘For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to explore America, an ambition fuelled by the legion of TV shows that crossed the Atlantic in the 1960s. As a young and impressionable child, I devoured ‘The Man from Uncle’ and’ The Fugitive’, but it was the westerns, evoking a landscape utterly removed from the congested English suburbs surrounding me, that I loved most… I began – although I may not have realised it at the time – to subconsciously search for the America which lived in my imagination, the one generated during childhood, the one that had probably never existed at all.’
Most lengthy photographic surveys of the States, with Robert Frank being the most notable exception, have been made by Americans: Walker Evans, Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld. Power’s perspective, on the other hand, is as a foreigner, travelling to and from America on multiple occasions, thus allowing a mental and physical distance.
The seeds of Power’s ambitious project began in 2012 when he became involved in ‘Postcards from America’ – an initiative by a group of photographers and friends who wanted to make an immediate response to what was happening in the US. They worked and travelled together, mounting pop-up exhibitions to interact with local audiences and sharing the work through publishing. He went on to join two further Postcards projects but had larger aspirations for the scope and longevity of his work in the US. Power’s five-year project in Poland, The Sound of Two Songs (2004-2009), was a precedent to Good Morning, America, which is by far the most ambitious the photographer has made to date.”
As if in tribute to America’s vastness and culture, the resulting photographs are cinematic and epic in format. Power aims to finish the project in 2022, covering the whole of Obama’s second term, Trump’s first, and the start of whoever comes next.
Mark Power (B.1959) studied painting at Brighton Polytechnic but turned to photography soon afterwards. He worked on editorial and charity commissions for ten years, before he began teaching at the University of Brighton in 1992. This coincided with a shift towards long-term, self-initiated projects which sit comfortably alongside large-scale commissions in the industrial sector. His work has been seen in numerous galleries and museums across the world, and is held in several collections, including the Arts Council of England, the British Council, the Victoria and Albert Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Marrakech Museum of Photography and Visual Art. Power joined Magnum Photos as a Nominee in 2002, and became a full Member in 2007. He lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England. Good Morning, America (Volume one) is his tenth book.