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James Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark PlacesJames Friedman | Dark Places

James Friedman | Dark Places

During my career, I have chosen projects that have required me to visit metaphorically “dark places.” Photographing 12 Nazi Concentration Camps decades after their use was a harrowing journey into places of darkness permeated, still, with the residue of evil and violence.

A specter of darkness loomed as I documented my mother’s torturous demise from having smoked more than a million cigarettes. During her last months she encouraged me to photograph her and our relationship became more gratifying because of the time spent together during those sessions. But, while we derived pleasure from collaborating on 1,029,398 Cigarettes, our enjoyment was bittersweet as we both knew her death was imminent. The photographs my mother allowed me to make are a testament to her fierce bravery that wasn’t enough to prevent her passing at 66.

The photographs from Dark Places were made with an iPhone camera in dark places — inside the pockets of my clothing. Despite being created in such prosaic sites, these pictures satisfy the need for ambiguity, mystery and symbolic darkness in my photography.

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James Friedman | 12 Nazi Concentration Camps

James Friedman’s work “12 Nazi Concentration Camps” is about awareness, distance and expectations. Not only is he aware of the historical facts of the Nazi era, he is also reflecting how those who have not experienced the Holocaust first hand might have encountered the topic in school, of what their parents, the press and the old black and white pictures told them. He is also awake to his role as a photographer who is unable to capture all the inexpressible torture and pain and that he can’t tell the whole truth of the catastrophe. With his own appearance in his pictures as a shadow, a hand or in persona in the background with his camera around his neck, the viewer is reflecting James Friedman’s role as a photographer and his own role as a viewer and judge. This multilayered and reflected state of mind needs some distance from the emotional topic but surprisingly the pictures are warm and witty, humorous even. Continue Reading →