Cole Pratt Gallery 3800 Magazine St. New Orleans, LA
These photomontages depict an arcane netherworld set somewhere in the mid19th century American South. Created in the realm of historical fiction, they weave together the disparate, war-ravaged lives of soldiers, civilians, women, children, slaves, freedmen, and animals. These ghostly characters, suspended in a strange afterlife, remain disconnected from the particulars of history.
In creating these montages I combine selected elements from historical images with my own photography. Each piece contains approximately one hundred layers which are digitally sized, blended and collaged into a single, large scale image.
The inhabitants of this mysterious underworld, in ritual and in ruin, gather to celebrate, glorify, exalt and mourn while holding onto hope for their own resurrection and escape. Created from three centuries of photography, this work explores 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 at Cole Pratt Gallery 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.