“Systems of Harmony” is a personal portrait of 2016 suburban America.
In the 19th century a large number of Europeans and Americans went to great lengths to establish small utopian communities throughout America. They were preachers, social reformers, industrialists, philosophers, anarchists, journalists and socialist thinkers who attracted large crowds to their intentional colonies. Nevertheless they were exclusive establishments, some religious in character, that saw in the vastness of the American wilderness a favorable economic, political and social environment. They didn’t last long: some a few months, others a few years.
I traveled to many of these former utopias drawn by their often evocative and tenderly pretentious names such as Utopia, New Harmony or Modern Times, out of curiosity for what those places look like now and wondering where America is, 150 years later.
Marta Giaccone (1988, Milan, Italy) is a Turin-based photographer. She received a MA in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales, Newport, UK, in 2014 and a BA in English and Hispanic American Literatures at the University of Milan, Italy, in 2011. Her work and research focuses on issues related to family and youth with a particular interest in the feminine perspective. She is also drawn to the juxtapositions of cultures and ideologies found within contemporary American society. She mainly shoots on medium and large format film. Evolving through long-term documentary projects, her photographic practice enables a more intimate and contemplative approach. She has interned for Magnum Photos, Bruce Davidson, Alessandra Sanguinetti and Mary Ellen Mark