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Jacob Holdt’s first solo exhibition with V1 Gallery, Pray for America, presents 45 selected photographs from Holdt’s archive of more than 15.000 photographs, shot during his vagabonding years in America between 1970-1978. Key examples are flanked by photographs never previously shown.
Refusing to pick up the mantle of priest from his father, Holdt crossed the Atlantic in 1970 and gradually discovered his own way of preaching universal love, not within the confines of his Father’s church in the village of Faaborg, but on the road in America.
Pray for America is a photo-survey in the social sphere. A whirlwind tour through America’s wild landscape of the 1970s. An inquisitive, beautiful, occasionally disturbing yet always compassionate journey into the back alleys and slums of America. The photographic subjects are always depicted as people first and class representatives second.
Maintaining his credo “to say yes” (also the title of his newly published memoirs), Holdt expands the genre of social documentary photography into a social philosophy. It is an expression of intimacy which is always genuine, always insistently idealistic, but never naïve enough to make fetishes of its subjects. A tacit narrative seems poised to unfold within each frame. Tense with expectation, like a modern tableaux vivant, the people are frozen in an act or affect, yet always in a precise composition.
Looking both backwards, into the history of oppression, racism and sexism, and simultaneously gazing into the future, the pictures seem, at times, prophetic. They are not just about America, but the Western world’s dreams and nightmares in a late capitalist age of upheaval. To aim at the perpetuation of memories means, inevitably, that Holdt has undertaken the task of continually renewing, of creating, cultural memoirs. It sometimes takes an outsider to show what is amiss. The visual testimonies are above all an invitation for us to pay attention, to reflect, to learn, to pray for America.
Kilde: V1 Gallery
1711 København V
Åbningstider efter den 12/5:
Tirsdag - Fredag: 10 - 17
Lørdag: 11 - 15
+45 3331 0321