The collection of photographs featured in Outside The Lorraine Motel: A Journey To A Sacred Place is part of David Katzenstein’s larger body of work where each photograph shimmers with color and sound. Grounding his compositions within his process, Katzenstein sets out to discover the image by discretely positioning himself at a prime vantage point to capture a moment in time. Gliding invisibly through and around the landscape, David scans the natural and architectural boundaries that frame the environment while focusing his gaze on life as it happens. Moving his body and camera left and right, up and down, and inch or two at a time, he settles on a position that will offer a dynamic perspective of his subjects within space and time. Strong geometric relationships of vertical, diagonal, and horizontal elements are peppered with colorful groupings of people with gestures, postures, and expressions mirrored across the picture plane. Bathed in light and shadow, Katzenstein’s photography bristles with energy and emotion.
Pilgrimage is a central theme in David Katzenstein’s work. In 2017 the artist set off to discover a new story, one that speaks of the the quiet moments of fragmented memory resonating with reverence and reflection, absence and loss, floating above hope and reality. Arriving at the National Civil Rights Museum at The Lorraine Motel, Katzenstein came upon a hallowed place where families and individuals, friends and strangers come to experience their personal relationship within the collective narrative, the shared human experience.
Traveling locally and from all corners of the globe, the contemporary Civil Rights pilgrim comes face to face with learned history, shifting assumptions surrounding personal and collective identity, responsibility, and accountability while simultaneously paying tribute to the legacy of the courageous citizens who laid the foundation for today’s human rights campaigns.
The power of documentary photography is rooted in the authenticity of time and place. The Lorraine Motel Marquis continues to serve as a beacon, welcoming visitors from around the world. Iconic and symbolic, it anchors our experience within time and memory as we confront our shared cultural history.
Gay Feldman, Exhibition Curator
Outside the Lorraine : David Katzenstein : A Photographic Journey to a Sacred Place
April 10, 2021 – April 4, 2022
The National Civil Rights Museum
450 Mulberry St, Memphis, TN 38103