Shot over four years, The New Forty-Niners documents the new wave of gold prospectors who have rushed to California 160 years after the original Gold Rush of 1849.
The tactile and earthy photographs show the gamblers, the adventurers, the desperate, the self-reliant and the young-at-heart in their camps and on claims spread across this magnificently wild landscape.
They document those who endeavor to make a living prospecting for ever elusive gold and the impact recent environmental legislation banning dredging equipment has had on their livelihood.
The New Forty-Niners juxtaposes the elemental rugged life of these passionate and obsessive individuals with gold souvenir shops, bars and motels celebrating the mining history of California, The Golden State.
— Sarina Finkelstein
Editor's note: Sarina Finkelstein will present this work and more in a lecture/slideshow at San Francisco PhotoAlliance on Friday May 9, 2014. Photographer Tina Barney will present the headline lecture the same night.
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Backhaus takes photographs of left-behind objects and rooms devoid of people, lending significance to things usually cleared away or overlooked. Although What Still Remainsshows no people, each image is alive with the lingering energy of those who have left the scene as it is.
European photographerconducts long-term photography workshops in prisons for adolescents. He gives the prisoners a new way to look at life, and he brings back some haunting images.