All posts tagged: Rhode Island School of Design

Good Sick – Jordan Baumgarten’s local vision of a national opioid crisis

When Jordan Baumgarten and his wife moved into the neighbourhood of Kensington in Philadelphia in 2013, they were shocked by what they saw – sex workers, dealers and drug use, all in plain view on the street, with almost no oversight from the police. Faced with these scenes daily on his doorstep, Baumgarten turned to his camera in an attempt to make sense of the area. “Photography forces an interaction and relationship with the world because it demands that you go to a certain place,” he says. Kensington is “a nexus for those in and around the city seeking heroin and all that it entails. It co-exists alongside everyday life in the neighbourhood and its surrounding landscape,” Baumgarten explains. But he adds that while this work focuses on Philadelphia, it addresses a much larger issue: “The city serves as a microcosm to discuss issues tearing apart the fabric of our social landscape.” Born in Philadelphia in 1983, Baumgarten stumbled across photography almost by accident after breaking his leg in 6th grade – keen to keep …

2018-04-04T13:41:36+00:00

On the road with the carnies in 1970s America

Randal Levenson stumbled upon fairgrounds almost by accident in 1971 – travelling from Ottawa to Maine to visit a friend, he found he was there at the same time as the Fryeberg fair. He spent eight days photographing its agricultural and carnival exhibits and, intrigued, went on to the next fair, the last of the season, in Topsham, living in a tent in the woods opposite to be as near to the site as possible. From there Levenson decided to shoot a book-long project on the so-called carnies, and worked on the project for the next ten years. He spent nearly all of 1974-78 on the road with various sideshows and carnivals, shooting from under a dark cloth on a large-format camera on a tripod. “I photographed freaks as normal people,” he told Vice back in 2014. “I found most to be fairly noble individuals.”

2017-09-22T09:36:32+00:00

BJP Staff