Jacob Holdt’s shocking, touching, and sometimes even sensuous photographs from forty years of traveling across the US is the fact that they are not the result of some Magnum-style photographer who happened to be at the right place at the right time. Rather, the photograph of a poor child in an African-American ghetto, opening a refrigerator with nothing but trash inside, or the portrayal of homely comfort in the house of a local Ku Klux Klan leader, capture integral parts of the Danish photographer’s life in America, which began when he arrived in the country in 1970. Equipped with nothing but a camera and what he calls his “philosophy of yes” (his conceptual strategy, as it were), Holdt initiated a kind of vagabond’s life, being merciful to whoever needed him the most and therefore often ending up with the poor, as well as outcasts of all sorts, including a family of mass murderers spanning three generations, whom he calls his friends.
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