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Monday, June 9, 2008
Architecture of Authority by Richard Ross @ Aperture Foundation
Photo-Palacio de Lecumberri (former prision) Mexico City. Photo by Richard Ross
ARTmostfierce highly recommends visiting The Aperture Foundation and taking a look at Richard Ross" Architecture of Authority" show currently on display at the Aperture Gallery from May 23-July 31, 2008.
The photographs on display are quite stunning despite the fact that some of the images deal with correctional facilities, prisoner's and death camps such as Guantanamo, Cuba or Abu Gharib, Iraq.
In contrast , Ross also offers us images of places that with a different context and purpose, might also have the similar intimidating effect like, for example, a photograph capturing the atmosphere of the Mary Boone Gallery in Chelsea NYC. There are also photographs of schools, auditoriums etc, etc that also have the same effect as well.
Ross captures the essence of Architecture and spaces designed mostly to educate, display, contain, reform , segregate , punish, congregate, isolate and even in some cases induce death. Through the use of a rather innovative and voyeuristic manner, Ross introduce us to some of these type of spaces that I hope most of us will never have to visit or be contained in.
Overall, there is a sense of order, composition, symmetry, desolation, intimidation, isolation and power of authority that these photographs command that it is quite hard to ignore. People are missing from the photos and that makes you reflect about the space and the interaction of human beings in it. I rather let the imagination flow than being a witness or present at some of these places. Ross manages to provide an insight view of these spaces but in so doing it also brings out raw order and a rather sinister and haunting beauty.
There is also a book by Richard Ross titled, ''Architecture of Authority'' published by Aperture Foundation Photographs and Afterword by Richard Ross and an Essay by John R. MacArthur in coordination with this show that ARTmostfierce highly recommends. In contrast with the show in which the photographs sizes are quite large, the book is fairly small in size (only 9'' x 9'') but, when opened , the images are just as strong and powerful as the show itself.
Photo-Holding Cells, Guantanamo, Cuba By Richard Ross
Photo-Communication with Others Room Immigration and Customs Homeland Security, San Franciscoby Richard Ross
Photo- Segregation Cells, Camp Remembrance, new Abu Gharib prision , Abu Gharib, Iraq by Richard Ross.