RaMell Ross developed this series through personal connections with the people and places of Hale County, Alabama. His introduction there began more than ten years ago, teaching photography and workforce development before expanding into the role of invested observer and documentarian. He received an Academy Award™ nomination in 2018 for his film Hale County This Morning, This Evening.
This exhibition explores the Black Experience, expressed through storytelling that removes the notion of “otherness” as a condition of the white gaze. Ross considers aspects of the African American identity and its Blackness, as forged in the American South, alongside systemic racism and oppression impacting Black lives nationwide. Shaping his work, Ross states that it is a desire to “unburden the expectations of Blackness, and toy with the power of personal experience and one’s relational proximity to communities to shape observations and in turn, memories. … I want to make work that unitedly honors its participants, resists their easy consumption and judgment, and quietly asks our imagination and intellect to question the known and easy constructions of identity and place.”
Spell, Time, Practice, American, Body: The Work of RaMell Ross is curated by Richard McCabe, Curator of Photography, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and organized by Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana.