Following up on ZZYZX, his rather dystopian view of Los Angeles and the people who live there on the fringes, photographer Gregory Halpern visited the southeastern United States at a time of strange planetary alignment — a total solar eclipse. He photographed the people there, temporarily unmoored from their daily routines, gazing up at the darkness and looking around to take stock of their situations, momentarily awakened from what might seem like a long, dull slumber.

Halpern made the photographs for Confederate Moons in North and South Carolina in 2017. He considers the work a meditation on the American South, on the state of the nation at this moment, and on the things that separate us and bring us together. “I was fascinated,” Halpern says, “by the idea that the entire nation was staring at the sun, reveling in the apocalyptic thrill of watching the moon temporarily extinguish our life-source, all together.”

As in his previous award-winning work, Halpern’s image selection and sequencing for Confederate Moons has a dreamy logic to it, dropping the viewer into a kind of hypnagogic consciousness, not sure if we are awake, dreaming, or sleep walking.

— Jim Casper

A book of this work is available as part of the TBW annual series program, and selected images are on display in Amsterdam at Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen, through June 23, 2018.