"I began thinking about things that I had heard my mother say," the 85-year old artist Rosalind Fox Solomon says in her considered tone. "That was what launched me into this." "This" is her new book, Got to Go, out now, for which Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York is also hosting an exhibition.
The seasoned photographer started with text; her poetry, she says, is inspired by "voices that I could still pull up from my childhood and my parents" which is paired with archival pictures dating from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s that span continents. By pairing text with her photography, Fox Solomon creates a uniquely personal narrative.
The importance of other media, like the words that accompany her photography, is clear in the exhibition, as well. A three-channel projection called "Scintillation" offers an immersive experience, as slides of her work are paired with a recording of Fox Solomon's own voice and excerpts from composer Jason Eckardt's dissonant composition, "Tongues." "I hope that individuals who experience the book and the exhibition will be reached on a subliminal level," Fox Solomon says.
The artist cites avant-garde playwright Samuel Beckett and modernist novelist James Joyce to convey the concept of her newest work: "It is about inner voice," she says. And while she's best-known for her outward-looking pictures—a series of portraits of people living with AIDS, and political works of ethnic violence and apartheid in places like Yugoslavia, Peru, and South Africa—even this more personal work has an emotional throughline that feels familiar on a basic human level.
Looking outward to look inward is a trend for Fox Solomon; her own personal understanding of herself is often drawn from exterior influences and travel. "I found courage and independence by venturing into unknown territory at home and abroad," she says. "The title, Got to Go, relates to how I needed to go out into the world to assert my independence and individual way of seeing. As an outsider, I have been empowered."
Now, take a look inside her new book.