MY DAKOTA: TimeLightbox and ICP

©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Storm Light,” from My Dakota (Radius, May 21, 2012)

In 2005, I set out to photograph my home state of South Dakota, a sparsely populated frontier state on the Great Plains with more buffalo, pronghorn, coyotes, mule deer, ring-necked pheasants, and prairie dogs than people. It’s a landscape dominated by space and silence and solitude, by brutal wind and extreme weather. I was trying to capture a more intimate and personal view of the West.  I was trying to capture what all that space feels like to someone who grew up there.  A year into the project, however, everything changed.  One of my brothers died unexpectedly.  For months, one of the few things that eased my unsettled heart was the landscape of South Dakota.  It seemed all I could do was drive through the badlands and prairies and photograph.  I began to wonder: Does loss have its own geography?

That first year of grieving was a blur of motel rooms, back roads, and dreams of my brother.  I still remember, however, one particularly elusive, haunted, dreamlike image.  One overcast day on a deserted country road in the Missouri River valley, I was startled by a flock of some thousand blackbirds.  I was mesmerized by how the birds flew through the stormy, unsettled Western sky as if they were one huge, dark, undulating, ravenous creature, picking clean the remains of the corn and sunflower fields in the last days of autumn.

To read the rest of the Time LightBox story about the making of “My Dakota” by Rebecca, please follow this link.  


©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Blackbirds,” from My Dakota (Radius, May 21, 2012)



––THURSDAY, MAY 24, NEW YORK, NY: My Dakota book launch at ICP, May 24″ href=”” target=”_blank”>My Dakota book launch, party and book signing at ICP (43d and Sixth Ave), 6-7:30.

––THURSDAY, JUNE 21, RICCO MARESCA GALLERY, NY: “Weather,” a group exhibition with a selection of photographs from MY DAKOTA, 6-8 pm.  The exhibition runs through August 17.


––FRIDAY, JUNE 1, RAPID CITY, SOUTH DAKOTA: “My Dakota” exhibition opening and book signing, Dahl Arts Center, 5-7pm.  The exhibition will run until October 13, 2012.



4-6pm Alex Webb in conversation with noted writer and cultural critic Geoff Dyer

6-7pm: Book signing with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb at the Second Street Gallery

9pm: “My Dakota” in the WORKS slide show


>Friday evening, Oct. 5, thru Sunday, Oct. 7 pm: FINDING YOUR VISION WORKSHOP @ THE DAHL, Rapid City, South Dakota. Discount for members of the Dahl Arts Center.

Alex’s interview with Alessia Glaviano for Italian Vogue

See Alex and Rebecca’s photos and others from Magnum’s House of Pictures project in Rochester here

See Rebecca’s My Dakota in progress at Radius Books

Q&A with Rebecca and Sarah Rhodes on Timemachine

To read the Robert Klein Gallery Tripod Blog Q&A with Rebecca.

Read more about Magnum’s House of Pictures project in the New Yorker and see Alex’s photo of the day, April 24th.

Alex’s “The Suffering of Light” exhibition at Forma, Milan, featured in Italian Vogue.

Rebecca Norris Webb, cover of "My Dakota" (Radius Books, May 21, 2012)

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4 Responses to “MY DAKOTA: TimeLightbox and ICP”

  1. Julie Mihaly Says:

    Absolutely incredible work.

  2. Justin Partyka Says:

    Dear Rebecca, My Dakota is clearly a very special book.
    I rarely attend book launches but this is one that I wish I could attend. Your question “Does loss have its own geography?” is something I have explored and tried to answer myself in my photographs. It certainly does if a photographer opens his or her heart to the beckoning landscape of grief. You have done this is in a moving and beautiful way with this project and I look forward to having the intimate experience this book will share with those who own it.
    May you have a wonderful time on Thursday.
    All the best, Justin

  3. Dani Voirin Says:

    Congratulations Rebecca, your book is beautiful and inspiring. When you shared it with us at the Aperture workshop, it was one of the highlights of the weekend. Thanks again!

  4. Wilhelm Deussen Says:

    I stumbled across these photos by accident, on the internet, and I just have to congratulate you as they are absolutely stunning! I am absolutely stricken with awe.

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