The photomontages in this body of work depict an imagined, surreal world set somewhere in the mid-19th century American South. Created in the realm of historical fiction, these tableaux weave together the disparate, war-ravaged lives of soldiers and civilians, women and children, freedmen and slaves. The ghostly characters in these scenes endure their existence amongst the ruins, suspended in an afterlife that is disconnected from the particulars of history.
In creating these montages I combine selected pieces of historical images from the 19th century, including the U.S. Civil War, with my own photographs. Each piece contains numerous layers which are digitally scaled, blended and collaged into a single, large scale image and printed onto aluminum.
My intent with this work is to create a series of tableaux that offer a glimpse into a strange and arcane netherworld where past souls struggle with loss, fear, war, class, race, gender, and death while hoping for their own escape and resurrection. These collaged scenes, created from three centuries of photography - explore a region that remains, in part, unwontedly bound to yesterday; a place whose present is as peculiar and as haunted as its past.
A selection from a recent review of this work by Dillon Raborn in Pelican Bomb, New Orleans, LA., August 21st, 2017:
Fictions have power, and presenting those fictions tangibly can open them to re-evaluation. Key to Knoxs photographs however, is the ambiguity of narrative in his alternatives histories, playing out in specific parameters. His specters with their blank expressions and hesitant comprehensions of their bizarre afterlives exist in a dystopian world somewhere between 1861 and 2017, which right now seems sadly more reflective of the present moment than we might wish.