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The knot in the heart

Photographer Eugene Richards has documented fates in crack environments, at emergency rooms and mental hospitals for well over 50 years. What has driven him?

Eugene Richards: The Run-on of Time
International Center of Photography,
New York City. For 20. January.

The award-winning photographer Eugene Richards sits here, at 74 years old, in front of the audience, and talks about the images in this winter's retrospective exhibition in International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York (see also video recording). He seems moody and warm – but tells us he has temperament.

In the many texts written about him, it can be read that it all started with the fact that he was once summoned to Vietnam, but sent the summons back the clip. While waiting for the reaction, he took a one-year degree in photography at Minor White at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

© Eugene Richards, Sam and Janine
Sam and Janine, © Eugene Richards.

This was the time around the murders of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, but what made this man spend 50 years of his life on documentary photography? Does he perhaps have this old knot in his heart that he wants to tie up – where life's paradoxes, differences and fates evoke an existential curiosity and urge to document? A drive towards questioning what we perceive as injustice, abuse of power and human decay? Thus one documents how wrong it can carry away for a society, and here, in the current exhibition, in particular. . .

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Truls Liehttp: /www.moderntimes.review/truls-lie
Editor-in-chief in MODERN TIMES. See previous articles by Lie i Le Monde diplomatique (2003–2013) and Morgenbladet (1993-2003) See also part video work by Lie here.

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