The Southwestern United States possesses a strange tale of western settlers seeking a utopian future. For those who aspire for divine knowledge it’s a place that holds the key to the mysteries of the cosmos. Luminous globes falling in arcs from the night sky, giant craters in the earth and unidentified radio signals all create fertile ground for conspiracy and myth to take root. Here beliefs both old and new intertwine, creating a realm where the magical and the ordinary are one and the same.
This work focuses on new religious movements of the region and the beliefs to which they adhere. Influenced by folklore of the American West, Sci-Fi cinema, secret military programs and Eastern and Indigenous mysticism the religious faiths I follow form a complex and entangled story. One aimed to illuminate the boundaries of belief and offer a meditation into the ideologies meant to eclipse the cycle of conventional life.
Antone Dolezal is a visual artist who uses photography, video, sound, text, bookmaking and the archive to create layered narratives investigating the cultural and political dynamics of American folklore and mythology. His work draws on themes related to the reframing of historical record, collective memory and cultural identity and aims to challenge our faith in the construction of reality and the evidence we implore to make sense of the world. His work has been exhibited widely and is held in notable public collections including the Museum of Modern Art Library, Museum of Contemporary Photography, New Mexico Museum of Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Smithsonian American Art and Portrait Gallery Library and the Whitney Museum of American Art – Special Collections. Antone’s photographs have been published with Conveyor Editions, Fuego Books, GEO, Mossless Magazine, National Public Radio, Oxford American, Smithsonian Magazine and Usbek & Rica, among others. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Daylight Photo Award Juror’s Pick, MoCP Snider Purchase Prize, OVAC Visual Arts Grant, Syracuse University Visual and Performing Arts Fellowship and has been shortlisted for the Anamorphosis Prize, FOAM Paul Huf Award, Gomma Grant and PH Museum Grant.