KNIVES is a project made over several years, using documentary photography to trace the shifting relationships between masculinity, myth, 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, until 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.
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.
Jason Koxvold’s KNIVES is available for preorder now through Kickstarter, help make it actual by booking a future copy today. Head to his Kickstarter page (Here) for a slew of rewards including a 20×30” poster on newsprint, limited edition archival prints in 4×5”, 8×10”, 16×20”, and 24×30”, t-shirts and signed editions of the book.
Jason Koxvold (b. 1977) is a fine art photographer based between Brooklyn and Upstate New York, and has a BSc in Social Science from University of Edinburgh, 2000.