Went Out For Cigarettes
The series’ title may be the old cliché of someone walking out the door one day on a random notion and never returning, but it also poses the question of what one might find on such a journey. I went in search of the South I know — not only as a region but also as a concept. Went out for Cigarettes encompasses four states, but regardless of the geography, these images share a familiar physical and psychological landscape.
Southerners are constantly witnessing things dying away. Right before something breathes its last, be it landscape, structure, or conviction, we try to revive it, forever trying to grab hold of a fleeting moment.
This region takes pride in its definition unlike any other place in the country. Southerners are curators without white gloves. The region is eternally trying to save face. The South doesn’t go out to fetch the mail without putting on makeup. We repress certain elements of our past: our politics, our religion, our sexuality. While at the same time, we praise all these things. This region is a didactic contradiction.