Mason & Dixon

  • Dates
    2020 - Ongoing
  • Author
  • Locations Pennsylvania, Maryland City, Philadelphia, Washington, Delaware, West Virginia

Inspired by the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name, the project explores the haunting legacy of the Mason-Dixon Line that runs between Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Since it was first surveyed over 250 years ago, the Line has become a violent and painful scar on the land, inscribing the legacies of slavery and colonial expansion deep in the American psyche. Because of its location along a historical fault-line, the region is a visceral example of the ongoing divisions and conflicts around the past, the present, and the future of the United States. I often ask myself how the land can support the unbearable weight of this tension.

The complexities I encountered along the Line are just as important as the divisions it creates. Officially a boundary between two states, the Mason-Dixon Line I found was a shifting, symbolic borderland bridging past and present, North and South, known and unknown. When I crossed this divide nothing seemed to change, and I began to question whether this border physically existed at all or if we all create this symbol collectively. This is my experience along the Line, a blurry constellation of memories, tragedies, hopes, and jarring realities.

I have seen a nation unsure of itself. Utilizing large-format black and white photography, these images are my accounts of where we have been, where we are, and where we are going. They are not only documents of real places and people, they are markers of a contradictory American mythology.

© Drew Leventhal - Home, Maryland

Home, Maryland

© Drew Leventhal - Gregory, Pennsylvania

Gregory, Pennsylvania

© Drew Leventhal - Quilt, Pennsylvania

Quilt, Pennsylvania

© Drew Leventhal - Raven's Rock, West Virginia

Raven's Rock, West Virginia

© Drew Leventhal - Kim, Pennsylvania

Kim, Pennsylvania

© Drew Leventhal - Battle, Pennsylvania

Battle, Pennsylvania

© Drew Leventhal - General Longstreet, Pennsylvania

General Longstreet, Pennsylvania

© Drew Leventhal - Barrier, Pennsylvania

Barrier, Pennsylvania

© Drew Leventhal - Pond Line, Maryland

Pond Line, Maryland

© Drew Leventhal - Woman and Child, Pennsylvania

Woman and Child, Pennsylvania

© Drew Leventhal - Railroad Bridge, Maryland

Railroad Bridge, Maryland

© Drew Leventhal - Phillip, Maryland

Phillip, Maryland

© Drew Leventhal - Statues, ennsylvania

Statues, ennsylvania

© Drew Leventhal - Eckley, Pennsylvania

Eckley, Pennsylvania

© Drew Leventhal - Porch Swing, Maryland

Porch Swing, Maryland

© Drew Leventhal - Stephen, Washington, D.C.

Stephen, Washington, D.C.