Jason Koxvold was born in 1977 in Belgium, and studied Psychology and Social Science at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Today he works as a fine art photographer working typically in large format documentary and constructed stories. His work focuses on economic forces – his first long-term project, Everything and Nothing, examined the way neoliberal policy shaped the global landscape. BLACK – WATER (work in progress) focuses on the cultural reverberations of fifteen years of constant war, photographed on military bases across the Middle East. His work has been recognised by the Magnum Photography Awards and the World Photo Awards, and published in places like WIRED, Wallpaper*, Newsweek Japan, Slate, Aint-Bad, The Great Leap Sideways, and Landscape Stories.
KNIVES is a project made over several years, using documentary photography to trace the shifting relationships between masculinity, memory, and violence in a rural town whose economic base remains eviscerated by globalisation.
The cutlery industry formed the economic backbone of New York’s Hudson Valley for over 150 years, when the Schrade knife factory abruptly moved production to China in 2004, leaving 500 men and women out of work. The town’s maximum security prison, Eastern Correctional Facility, became the largest employer in the area, shielded from the wider community by layers of secrecy. As businesses continued to close during the decade that followed, drug abuse, mental disorders, and rare cancers have become more widespread. What remains for the young men of Wawarsing?
KNIVES operates as two intertwined stories: one, a typological study of knives crafted in the region since the rise of the cutlery industry, provides connective tissue to the other, which deals in the realities of the local community, both within the prison and without. The project serves as a microcosm of the larger issues facing the United States, grappling with the effects of automation and outsourcing, cuts in services, and the rise of identity politics.
To view more of Jason’s work, please visit his website.