Guy Mendes, Don't Even Think About It (New Orleans, LA), 1988, silver gelatin print, 6.5 x 9.5 inches
Roger Manley and Guy Mendes
February 13 - March 16
Institute 193, Lexington
Envisioned as an additional chapter to Institute 193’s forthcoming publication Walks to the Paradise Garden, Miscellaneous provides a very peculiar look at the American South through the roadside photographs of Roger Manley and Guy Mendes. Taken during a series of meandering road trips in the 1980s, the exhibition features the South’s endemic popular poetry written, painted, and scrawled on storefronts, buildings, and signs. NOT FOR RENT DON’T ASK is haphazardly spray-painted multiple times across the side of an abandoned home in Jessamine County, Kentucky. Across the state, in Pike County, a lone sign states simply: GUNS. In Athens, Georgia a liquor store’s signboard advertises a DRIVE-THRU WIDOW, and on a somewhat related note, a small metal yard-sign in rural South Carolina proclaims simply: SLOW DEATH.
Miscellaneous is presented simultaneously with the release of Walks to the Paradise Garden: A Lowdown Southern Odyssey by Jonathan Williams, Roger Manley, and Guy Mendes and alongside an accompanying exhibition at the High Museum of Art (Atlanta) titled Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads (March 2 – May 19, 2019).