Say Hello to Everybody, OK?
[ EPF 2019 FINALIST ]
In 2019-2020 I will be commuting from Charlottesville, Virginia to Washington, D.C. via train on a weekly basis. I also intend to walk the train line in intervals, photographing the scenes I encounter on its peripheries. I view the train line as an artery between my home in Charlottesville (where my heart stays), and Washington, DC, the seat of power in the United States. During my days in Washington, DC I will document the dichotomy between the powerful and the powerless. During my days in Charlottesville, I will photograph my own family, and my community. The background for these images are the final days of Trump’s first term in office, and the lead-up to the next Presidential elections. By juxtaposing powerful circles in Washington, DC with the recovering community of Charlottesville, VA, and the largely rural area in between, I will attempt to put my finger on the pulse of our country during this critical time.
This work will be absorbed into a larger series called “Say Hello to Everybody, OK?”, which looks at America in the years surrounding Trump’s time in office, beginning in 2014. The series will either conclude in 2020 or 2024, likely resulting in a monograph and exhibitions, but my primary intention is to disseminate the work through widely distributed free newsprint publications and pop-up installations in underserved communities. My goal is to find, or create, a connective visual tissue throughout our country during this divided time. With my work I am looking for the threads that connect us as families, as communities, as Americans and as humans. If we are at risk of forgetting too much of our world, and ourselves, photography is an antidote.
Matt Eich is a photographic essayist working on long-form projects related to memory, family, community, and the American condition. Matt’s work has received grant support from an Aaron Siskind Fellowship, a VMFA Fellowship and two Getty Images Grants for Editorial Photography. His prints and books are held in the permanent collections of The Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The New York Public Library, Chrysler Museum of Art and others. In 2013 Matt was an Artist-in-Residence at Light Work, and in 2019 he was an Artist-in-Residence at a Robert Rauschenberg Residency. Eich holds a BS in photojournalism from Ohio University and an MFA in Photography from Hartford Art School’s International Limited-Residency Program. His is the author of three monographs, Carry Me Ohio (Sturm & Drang, 2016), I Love You, I’m Leaving, (ceiba editions, 2017), and Sin & Salvation in Baptist Town (Sturm & Drang, 2018). He has two forthcoming monographs with Sturm & Drang scheduled for release in 2019 and 2020. Matt splits his time between Washington, DC and Charlottesville, Virginia, where he resides with his family.
The Emerging Photographer Fund is supported by generous donors to the Magnum Foundation