Essentially a portraiture study, this post is the first in a three part series profiling Larry’s documentation of Civil Rights and Racism in America.
The face is the subject of these photographs. Through them we are allowed entrance into stories of progress and it's abrupt limits. The sum total of all these studies is the creation of the larger character of America; an America both integrated and segregated, in which equality is the law if not the spirit of the country. The characters of these photographs live within this reality. Their faces are the mark of their reaction to it. We see tiredness and sorrow. We see innocence and creativity. The mystery of possibility emerges; intangible hope drawn from the depth of the soul. It is bitter, long in coming and brutalized on arrival.
The mystery of hope, and the reality of society where hope merges with oppression, are given voice through faces which themselves remain silent. Though their expressions betray some measure of the truth of experience, the real story, the whole truth, cannot be known. Personal subjectivity, ideological interpretation, unwillingness to tell, and an unwillingness to look, mark some of the reasons why these stories, which are out in the open remain untold. The face tells us what we cannot know, do not want to know.
-M.C. Newton & Dani Bogenhagen