New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Rosalind Solomon
Ritual
Reviewer #1
Rosalind Solomon, “ Woman with her Husband’s Corpse, 1981”

This show is a time-capsule of sorts, although some of the images in it date to only a few years ago. Rosalind Solomon was born in 1930’s and had a 1970’s era coming-of-age when she extricated herself from husband and grown family and began to travel about the world with a case full of Hasselblads. The destinations she chose were often exotic ones, poor, but rich in tradition (and intricate, photogenic costumes.) The air of comparative anthropology wafts through this exhibition (Solomon has a wider body of work), but it is the almost neo-colonialistic, bringing the world to your doorstep quality, that dates the photos, and causes this reviewer to wince.

Solomon is not a stylist in the Cartier-Bresson tradition. Her forte is essentially being there. We see a rather uncomfortable looking young drum-major in a parade, partly uncomfortable because this photographer lady is squatting right there in the middle of the street. A circle of mourning women surround a casket in Guatamala, but we see only half of them, – Solomon is right there in the circle with them. But the most disturbing image is “Woman with her Husband's Corpse, 1981,” shot in Peru, we see a young woman, standing probably in the town morgue, at the foot of her husband’s body. The look on her face is of hurt and loss, but who can see this picture and not think of what happened in the few seconds before it was taken, as this American with a fancy camera approaches her and then the blinding, lingering light that lasted long after she was gone. This is a photographer without decency.

Rosalind Solomon
Ritual


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Thursday, May 13 to
Saturday, June 26, 2010
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