My work plays with fragments of American photography, cinema and literature to explore underlying ideology
- Matt Henry
"My personal practice focuses on America during the 1960s and 1970s. The works take the form of staged scenes constructed as set-builds in the UK using props sourced from here and the United States. The devout modernism of this period is a particular interest, with utopian political and cultural ideals heralding some of the great liberal successes of our time (the Civil Rights, feminist, anti-war and Free Speech movements). My current long-term project focuses on the American counterculture and social protest in the years 1964-74, which is also the subject of my doctoral thesis.
Previous works focus on U.S cultural exports and how their symbols became the language of near-global imagination. In this sense, my work also plays with fragments of American photography, cinema and literature to explore underlying ideology. Yet the distillation of these aspects into staged scenes is not only a method to explore subtext, but also to celebrate a world particular to me. This world takes the form of an imaginary small town, semi-rural space where the central dramas of nature, love, sex, family, and death contrast with the urbanised dislocation and technologically-inspired isolation of today's postmodern world."
Matt Henry (b. 1978) grew up in North Wales and is now based in Brighton, England. His work has been exhibited in Europe, Asia and North America. When not making photographs, he is studying part-time for his PhD in the department of American Studies at University of Sussex.