The Decline of Mall Civilization: Michael Galinsky's photo book sparks nostalgia for the mall culture of the 1980s
in conversation with Greg Barbera, who just donated his archive of the 1990s Chapel Hill music scene to the Southern Folklife Collection
Tuesday 11/26, 7 pm
In 1989, 20-year-old photographer Michael Galinsky drove across America to capture images in malls. 20 years later, he found the slides in a box, scanned them, and put a few online. Within days, they went wildly viral and ended up being published by Steidl. This prompted the images to go wild again and that book, “Malls Across America,” sold out before it could get to stores. Six years later, Galinsky has crafted a follow up with 112 pages of entirely new images as a 30th anniversary book.
No filmmaker/photographer has shoved the laparoscope of truth deeper into America's ugly ass than Michael Galinsky. These artful, surveillance-type pix say so little and yet say so much about the vacuous anti-culture we participate in, and take for normal.
Michael Galinsky is a musician, filmmaker, photographer, and writer. He started documenting the music scene in NY before he was in a band. His first photo project was a series of street photos shot in malls in 1989. This work has been compiled in two books, Malls Across America and The Decline of Mall Civilization, which was released in November 2019. After shooting that project, Michael started the band Sleepyhead and spent the next decade touring and recording with the band. He and his wife Suki have made 9 feature films.