Amon Carter Museum of American Art presents Mitch Epstein: "Property Rights"
The Amon Carter Museum of American Art will present Mitch Epstein: "Property Rights," the first museum exhibition of photographer Mitch Epstein’s acclaimed large format series documenting many of the most contentious sites in recent American history, from Standing Rock to the southern border, and capturing environments of protest, discord, and unity.
Produced between 2017 and 2019, the 21 works in the Carter’s exhibition contrast the majesty of America’s natural landscape with its fraught history of claimed ownership, prompting pressing yet enduring questions of power, individualism, and equity.
What began for Epstein as a single visit to Standing Rock following the 2017 revival of the Dakota Access Pipeline became the basis for his sweeping exploration of land rights in America - examining who is entitled to it and at what cost. At the protest site, Epstein experienced meaningful encounters with the matriarchal elders at the forefront of the pipeline’s resistance and found himself grappling with America’s lasting legacy of land confiscation and misuse.
That experience led the artist to seek out similar pipeline protests in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, where “Tree-Sits” were mobilized to oppose Energy Transfer’s construction. Over the next two years, Epstein used his camera to chart a network of contested land in America that manifested clashes over immigration at the Texas border, capitalist expansion in Arizona’s Ironwood Forest, and environmental degradation in Paradise, California.
Together, the series highlights the interconnectivity of seemingly disparate sites of American conflict, all of which weigh the right to private property against the value of public access and preservation.