Wednesday, 14 October 2020

Self Evident Truths

In the spirit of Richard Avedon, this book contains striking photographic portraits of 10,000 people from across the US, bringing readers face to face with LGBTQ America,” the press release lets me know. Patrisse Cullors, “the cofounder of several organizations including Dignity and Power Now, The Crenshaw Dairy Mart, and Black Lives Matter” characterises this book as “the largest collection of photographs of queer, trans and non-binary people – 10,000 beautiful images that capture us in all our complexity, our honesty, our raw selves.”

Well, I do not think that photographs can do what Patrisse Cullors claims they do. What she sees in them is what she brings to them. As far as I’m concerned photographs are inherently incapable of showing complexity, or honesty, or raw selves.

So what do I see in these photographs? Portraits of different people posing in a variety of ways against a black background. Some smile, some don’t, all try, I assume, to show themselves in what they consider a favourable pose. The vast majority of the pics are very small, some are presented in a larger format. Had I not been told that I’m looking at LGBTQ America I would have neither known nor guessed it; I would have simply seen fellow human beings.

For the full review, see here

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