‘Rotan Switch’ is a 40-year exploration of rural Arkansas
“Cheryl on Bed,” 1982, is a silver gelatin print by photographer Lisa McCord. (photo by Lisa McCord)
The Los Angeles Art Association will present “Rotan Switch,” a solo exhibition by photographer Lisa McCord. The show will be on view from Jan. 23 to Feb. 19 by appointment.
McCord is a photographer from the Arkansas Delta who lives and works in Los Angeles and Arkansas. She received her BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.
In “Rotan Switch,” McCord shares a personal exploration of home and family. Spanning over 40 years, McCord’s photographs document life on her grandparents’ cotton farm in the rural Arkansas Delta community of Rotan. The images offer a glimpse of their subject through many lenses including the intimacy of a close friend, the privilege of a white photographer and that of the farm-owner’s granddaughter.
The series takes its name from the community’s central landmark – the now defunct railroad switch where farmers once loaded their cotton bales onto trains headed out of the Arkansas Delta – as an acknowledgement of the complex intersections of industry and agriculture, of race and injustice in the American South. The resulting portrait of this rural community offers both a celebration of love and an acknowledgement of enduring pain as humans seek to move toward a more just future.