After the Funeral, 1992 from "Married, Not Dead"
After the Funeral depicts Ralph kissing his youngest daughter through a car window after her mother, Sensa, died of AIDS related complications. This collection portrays the tragic story of an American family living in poverty and struggling with drug addiction, physical abuse, and HIV through intimate photographs of their lives.
In 1989 Steve Hart, an award-winning documentary photographer, was asked to photograph a support group in New York for people living with HIV and AIDS. He developed a relationship with a Puerto Rican couple named Ralph and Sensa, both living with AIDS from intravenous drug use. After the Funeral is part of a collection, called A Bronx Family Album: The Impact of AIDS, of photographs of this couple and their family over a seven-year period.
Harris Karalic, a Muslim, bids goodbye to his son Denis, who is being taken out of war ravaged Sarajevo by the Jewish community on a rescue convoy, 1994
A hand presses against a glass window separating Harris Karalic from his son Denis, “who is being taken out of war ravaged Sarajevo by the Jewish community on a rescue convoy”, as the title describes. We see the reflection of a balcony over top of a boy’s eyes looking at the camera sadly. Another boy stands behind him.
Harris Karalic, a Muslim, bids goodbye to his son Denis, who is being taken out of war-ravaged Sarajevo by the Jewish community on a rescue convoy was originally published in Serotta’s book Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Bosnia, and the Lessons of the Past in 1994, and was exhibited in 2016 in an exhibition of the same name. The book tells the story of La Benevolencija, a Jewish community center and humanitarian aid organization which came into being during the Bosnian war in 1992 as an organization where anyone could ask for help regardless or ethnic or religious background.
Edward Serotta is a journalist and photographer who specializes in Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe. Between 1993 and 1995 Serotta spent a total of 45 days in war-torn Yugoslavia taking photographs. The boy in the photograph, Denis Karalic, was 15 years old when this photo was taken. He was sent out of the country to Israel with a friend’s family to live away from the violence of the war. He now lives in Vienna, works at the Jewish Museum, and has become a surrogate son to Serotta.
Hammer Breaking Glass Plate, 1933
A stillness rests in the air of this photograph, the damage outlined, the glass prepared for descent. A hammer protrudes from the middle of the frame, standing as strong as a street sign or a flag pole, and fluttering beside it is a gloved, human hand, which seems involved in the incident. There is a crystalized beauty within the destruction, and a sort of natural pattern to the smashing glass. The moment, stuck in time, is silent. The hammer caught red-handed.
Today, our modern eyes may be much more accustomed to see what was, in 1933, a groundbreaking discovery, redefining the limits of photography. Now that screens are embedded into our social fabric, have we reached the limit of what photography can achieve? What more can photography do? Are photographs inherently meant to capture a moment? Do photographs relay a false message of stillness to what is constantly in motion?
Even as a young artist in 1933, Harold Eugene “Doc” Edgerton worked to unlock new visual understandings of the world. He had inventive and scientific tendencies, deeply examining the speed of motion, following the chase to capture it on-screen. Hammer Breaking Glass Plate is one of the lesser-known (but equally emotive and powerful) photographs in Edgerton’s expansive body of work (ie. Milk Drop Coronet, 1957). Overall, his art challenged the mechanics of photography and cinematography infinitely, as he continually pushed the boundaries of high-definition and documentary capabilities. Edgerton discovered innovative lighting processes, such as high-tech strobe lights with camera shutter motors, which captured stop-motion pictures, moments moving too fast for our eyes to see. Gus Kayafas, a student and colleague, worked alongside Edgerton throughout his scientific art process, collaborating in a partnership which would produce several iconic exhibitions among many galleries.
Coming out of this moment strongly, together, we realize that we need to collectively agree to not return to ‘the norm’. We need to break the glass, to shatter our old standards, systems and divisions, to bring light to our community, to help each other. Unemployed Workers United has a mission to do just that, committing to “[creating] an economy and society that respects all working people, their families and their communities.”
Please visit www.uwunited.org
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