With her photos of mourners and reservists, Ross hoped to stop the war

Type social loser, which you may notice, but may not be. This is how American photographer Judith Joy Ross (1946) described herself in an interview early last year Watchman. Not only were these the kind of people she counted herself among, but also the people she was drawn to in her selfies. She grew up herself in the mining town of Hazelton in northeastern Pennsylvania, and in the 1980s she shot portraits of children in a park near where she grew up. Lovely picture of three kids in swimsuits, their hair still flat from swimming. The girl on the left has yet to lose her puppy fat and radiates in front of the camera, holding an ice cream cone in the shape of a face (one of the Pacman characters). You notice from the way the photo was taken that Ross is close to them (and you also understand why those babes in swimsuits inspire someone like Rineke Dijkstra). In bad Dutch it is called these days I feel you.

professional groups

The three girls are just one example of the photos Ross took in the park with her big screen camera. It’s part of Ross’ largest retrospective to date, with the Museum of Photography in The Hague displaying 150 vintage prints from the past 50 years. Where the image of the children in the garden has a brown tint, the other images appear more emphatically black and white – or rather: grey. The three girls and their ice cream still look cheerful, so brown would fit in, too. Less flashy, but with the same emphasis on growth, the photos are there Pictures of Hazelton Public Schools (2006). In that series she returns to her schools from the 1950s and 1960s.

Judith Joy Ross Mona Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania1982.
Photo by Judith Joy Ross, courtesy of Thomas Zander Gallery, Cologne
Adam Rutzky, Spanish teacher, Hazelton High School1992.
Photo by Judith Joy Ross / Thomas Zander Gallery, Cologne
Judith Joy Ross Mona Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania1982, and Adam Rutzky, Spanish teacher, Hazelton High School1992.
Photo by Judith Joy Ross / Thomas Zander Gallery, Cologne

For most of his images, Ross worked with grays because he emphasized grief or those depicted whose lives were already taking shape, and were less in the process of developing. Simple fact, that you see in a long line of people and their professions. Inspired by the German portrait photographer August Sander, who captured professional collections in the Weimar Republic, I did the same: gravedigger, car rental employee, police officer. Even more surprising is the gray color in her most famous series Pictures at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (1983/1984), which she made when the Washington Veterans Memorial had just opened. These images have been widely praised as they sometimes show melancholy or contemplation, but they also depict the state of the country at the time: a country at odds with itself.

She has said in interviews that she herself believed she could change the world with her images and even end the Vietnam War that she was getting up to every day by simply turning on the radio or television. You just had to see the effect of the war in the eyes of the visitors and you knew you were wrong. Yet little has changed, as evidenced by the photographs I took more than five years later of reservists who took part in the Gulf War in 1990 and 1991.

Also view this photo series: Dwelling in the Ordinary: The Penetrating Photographs of Judith Joy Ross

Afghanistan and Iraq

with serial Eyes wide open eyes well Hdhirtan She refocused on the loss caused by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Photographed mourners and protesters in 2006 and 2007. New York times Not interested at the time, she began selling a bunch of the same photos for five dollars. “I thought these pictures would help end the war,” she explained. De Volkskrant From. It was impossible: “Even if I had distributed this book all over America for free,” the pictures would have changed the policy.

Senator Robert C. Beard, Leader of the Opposition, Democrat, West Virginia1987.
Image by Judith Joy Ross / courtesy Thomas Zander Gallery, Cologne
Private First Class Maria I. Leon, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania1990.
Image by Judith Joy Ross / courtesy Thomas Zander Gallery, Cologne
Private First Class Maria I. Leon, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania1990. and Senator Robert C. Beard, Leader of the Opposition, Democrat, West Virginia1987.
Image by Judith Joy Ross / courtesy Thomas Zander Gallery, Cologne

This is the reason for her series as well Pictures of the US Congress Very well. It is atypical in that it is relatively static, and is a great addition to your Vietnam Souvenir collection. In 1986 and 1987, Ross decided to put the people’s representatives in front of the camera. She mainly chose politicians with whom she disagreed. From behind her camera she looks out for their humanity as they stand there in the Capitol building. She was looking for imperfections and wrinkles (which can sometimes be clearly seen in how tightly the tie hangs or not around the neck), and she got them, partly along with a good dose of conviction.

“Her images are not neutral,” British photographer Alice Tomlinson said of Ross’s work. She didn’t understand why Ross, who was her muse, wasn’t world famous. She says this is mainly because Ross films the people she meets every day. So Ross usually laughs heartily in interviews when asked if she mainly wants to highlight poverty – an impression certainly created in the series. free landAbout the poor town where her father was born 2046Where the question is what do you think the future of these people will look like. She photographs people who look like her and whom she can connect with. You can see the sympathy with which they are made. This applies to nearly all of her photos, regardless of whether they are brown or grey, and whether they show children eating ice cream, reservists, or protesters.

Judith Joy Ross: Pictures of America They can be seen until 3/26 at the Fotomuseum Den Haag. Info: fotomuseumdenhaag.nl

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