New York

Rosalind Solomon

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

This show was subtitled “Ritual,” and most of the photographs in it were of weddings, burials, and other ceremonies in Latin America and India. Despite this, the point of Rosalind Solomon’s pictures is neither documentary nor anthropological. Solomon usually provides only the barest of wall labels to identify the events she depicts, and the few pictures shown here covered such a wide range of rituals that no analysis of any one of them was offered by the way they were grouped. In her photographs Solomon seems to want to propose something about rituals in general, or about the function of rituals in different cultures. At the same time, she uses these situations for the emotional intensity they entail, finding in them metaphors for personal emotions.

Pictures with this kind of dual nature—half anthropology, half poetry—are a staple of postwar street photography, as exemplified by, say Lee

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