12 NAZI CONCENTRATION CAMPS
JAMES FRIEDMAN photographed 12 different Nazi concentration camps in 1981 and 1983 using an 8×10 camera and color film to create an audacious, confrontational body of work that has never been more potent and meaningful.
12 Nazi Concentration Camps is arguably the most significant body of photographic work on the concentration camps in the post-Holocaust era.
Author & Historian
I WAS INSPIRED to make these photographs for a number of reasons, and specifically as a way to drive out some of the anger and powerlessness I had felt about antisemitic acts perpetrated against me and my family. Many of these events occurred in my childhood, and they have been a pernicious influence in my life. I grew up in the Midwest in the 1950s and 1960s, in a middle-class neighborhood where one would not expect racism or antisemitism. When I was four years old, I saw German American teenage neighbors in our backyard gloating as they stood next to my family’s pet dog, whom they had just hanged to death. Later other neighbors set our house on fire and damaged it with gunshots. My parents, perhaps fearing retribution, chose not to prosecute any of the perpetrators.
PLEASURES AND TERRORS OF KISSING
JAMES FRIEDMAN has created a remarkable collection of black and white photographs that capture the flickers, and flames, of human affection – without the romanticization or fetishization.
Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing shook me to my core and blew my mind.
BFA Student, UCLA
I DO NOT REMEMBER any kissing between family members as I was growing up. It wasn’t until my mother was hospitalized for eight months, unable to speak, that we began to kiss good-bye before I would depart for the day after visiting her. These newly discovered displays of affection were imbued with genuine caring and profound sadness as we both knew she had only a short time to live. Our relationship in my mother’s final months inspired my photographic project, Pleasures and Terrors of Kissing.
JAMES FRIEDMAN reveals the unexpected interiors of ordinary golf balls, with each bisected sphere exposing unpredictable formal and metaphorical elements that illuminate the imagination of viewers.
Friedman’s brilliant sequence of photographs goes beyond illustration to create its own significant meaning.
A Critical History
I NEVER FELT personally connected to abstraction until I happened to attend a golf equipment trade show and saw a bisected golf ball. For the first time, abstraction resonated with me as I discovered elegant formal qualities and surprising metaphorical possibilities in the unlikeliest of places: a 1.68” golf ball. Thirty-five years after first viewing the abstractions of photographers Minor White and Aaron Siskind and the paintings of Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell, I learned to appreciate and embrace abstraction in my own work. For some viewers, my photographs from Interior Design allude to celestial bodies and the sublime. For me, their serendipitous structural exquisiteness and their subtle and passionate arrays of colors have inspired new exploration in my photography.
JAMES FRIEDMAN devoted 30 years collaborating with his mother to create the tender and unflinching photographic project 1,029,398 Cigarettes. The photos show the corrosive effects of chain-smoking in real time, spanning from before his mother was diagnosed with emphysema to her final breaths.
…imperfect and impermanent, a relationship between mother and son, pulsing with tenderness and love.
MY MOTHER BEGAN SMOKING when she was eleven years old and, by the end of her life, she had smoked nearly 1,029,398 cigarettes. 1,029,398 Cigarettes shows the life and death of my mother through photographs I made starting when I was nine years old and continuing for three decades, until her death. 1,029,398 Cigarettes reveals the transformation of a charismatic woman to one suffering the physical ravages of emphysema caused by forty-seven years of smoking.
JAMES FRIEDMAN is an acclaimed educator and one of the most talented and uncompromising photographic artists working today. His work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in numerous books and prestigious critical publications. He is an Aaron Siskind Foundation Individual Photographer’s Fellow and recipient of the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio.
Jim earned a BFA degree with Distinction in Photography from The Ohio State University, after which he was selected to participate in an experimental graduate program in creative photography directed by Minor White at MIT. He also worked as an assistant to Imogen Cunningham while earning an M.A. in photography from San Francisco State University.
Jim is a highly regarded educator of photography who offers workshops and individual instruction. He is deeply committed to the growth and development of his students and their craft.
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