Architecture of Authority
Architecture of Authority.
Photographs by Richard Ross. Signed by Ross on title page. Text by John R. MacArthur.
Aperture, New York, Cloth, 144 pp., 97 color illustrations, 9x9".
For the past several years-and with seemingly limitless access-photographer Richard Ross has been making unsettling and thought-provoking pictures of architectural spaces that exert power over the individuals within them. From a Montessori preschool to churches, mosques and diverse civic spaces including a Swedish courtroom, the Iraqi National Assembly hall and the United Nations, the images in Architecture of Authority build to ever harsher manifestations of power: an interrogation room at Guantánamo, segregation cells at Abu Ghraib, and finally, a capital punishment death chamber.
Though visually cool, this work deals with hot-button issues-from the surveillance that increasingly intrudes on post-9/11 life to the abuse of power and the erosion of individual liberty. The connections among the various architectures are striking, as Ross points out: 'The Santa Barbara Mission confessional and the LAPD robbery homicide interrogation rooms are the same intimate proportions. Both are made to solicit a confession in exchange for some form of redemption.' Essay by Harper's Magazine publisher, John R. MacArthur, also a columnist for the Toronto Globe and Mail.
Clark Gallery has an extensive inventory of Mr. Ross' photographs. Architecture of Authority, was named one of the best photography titles by PDN magazine. The Architecture of Authority photographs will be shown at various venues including the Apperture Foundation Gallery in NYC; TheBuilding Museum in Wash. DC; and the Tampa Museum of Art. Ross is arecipient of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and has also been received an NEA Grant, and Fulbright Fellowships and other awards which assist artists throughout their career. His work has een exhibitied worldwide, and is represented in numerous museum collections.