Item description for United States, 1970-1975 by Jacob Holdt...
In the early 1970s, Jacob Holdt left his native Denmark and arrived in the U.S. with 40 dollars in his pocket. He meant to zip through the country on his way to South America, but he was so shocked and fascinated by what he saw here that he decided to stay a while. When his family was skeptical about the poverty he described in letters home, his father shipped over a cheap amateur camera, asking for proof, and Holdt began to create this portrait of America and its underclass. In the end, he spent five years as a vagabond, selling his blood twice a week and hitch-hiking over 100,000 miles. He befriended whoever offered him a ride, and a ride frequently became an offer to stay a few days. He never said no, and in the end visited more than 350 homes, where he photographed the people he lived with: poor families, millionaires, junkies, members of the Ku Klux Klan. His images echo the work of the WPA, and have inspired Lars Van Trier among others. More recently, Holdt, who was born 1947 in Copenhagen, has been working in third-world countries, documenting the lives of those in poverty there.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 10.25" Height: 10" Weight: 2.55 lbs.
Release Date Jun 1, 2007
Publisher Steidl & Folkwang Museum, Essen
ISBN 3865213936 ISBN13 9783865213938
Availability 0 units.
More About Jacob Holdt
Jacob Holdt, born in 1947 in Copenhagen, Denmark, arrived in America in the 1970s, and spent several years hitchhiking across the country. Since 1991, he has worked as a volunteer for CARE in several third-world countries. He has continued to document the lives of those in poverty while working for CARE. His most recent projects have also focused on white supremacist hate groups. Holdt spent time living with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan and photographing their daily lives.
Reviews - What do customers think about United States, 1970-1975?
Down and out snaps May 6, 2008
If you click onto Jacob Holdt's fascinating website and read a bit about him you'll find out that he "...was never interested in photography as art so few of my pictures can stand alone..." yet Steidl have published this book, in the classic photo book format of one image to a spread, as eighty-four stand alone photos and clearly I don't think the book works at all.
Essentially they are just snapshots of Holdt's travels in the US between 1970 and 1975 taken with a $30 Canon Dial camera and it shows. If the book's format had been different, say, as a personal diary with the photos, writing and perhaps some other graphic elements then the photos get locked into the material on the page and their ordinariness become less apparent and their meaning gets enhanced because the reader can relate them to the nearby text.
The photos depict rural and city poverty and I thought those on the first few pages, of colored poverty in the South, particularly powerful. There are plenty showing domestic situations, drug taking, violence and general despair of the people he encountered on his travels, many of whom he became friends with.
Holdt's website has a huge number of photos, especially from his book `American Pictures: A personal journey through the American underclass' and on the site you see and read about the photos at the same time, the format works beautifully. In `Jacob Holdt' with a blank page facing every photo Steidl still can't be bothered to put the detailed captions on this blank page facing each relevant image, so the reader has the usual nonsense of having to note the page number and turn to the back List of Plates to gain some information.
These would be interesting photos in anything other than art book format.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer image' under the cover.