Monday, October 26, 2009

Joseph Rodriguez- "Our Country Lies..."

Much has been made of the "irrelevance" of current photojournalism, as if it was some long dead hair band from the '80s. Now if you want to argue that 90% of photojournalism centers on 10% per cent of the world- point taken. But obviously it goes well beyond that. "Art" photography has been decades removed from the small format style that both compromises and enables most of photojournalism. And the public has long been weary of images of strife and poverty so many miles removed- a weariness ever the more prevalent and threatening now that it's extended to their very backyard. We no longer crave pictures that shake us from our ignorance, as our ecosystems collapse en masse and we tweet on to the very end in our self contained bubbles of denial.

This all comes readily to mind viewing the work of Joseph Rodriguez. Or as Stephen Mayes asks, "Where is the intimate, the personal and the real?" Mr. Rodriguez is not concerned with getting the action winning Pulitzer, he'd much rather shoot pictures that ultimately provide some measure of understanding and insight into the plight and lives of his subjects- and the environments that collude to create those lives, often reflecting the background of his own. Or as one of his subjects asked, "Why are you going to Bosnia? The war is right here." Sometimes that road less traveled is right next door.

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