Unge på en Taco Bell-restaurant efter highschool-årsbal. Natchez, MS, 2009 Foto: © Jacob Holdt.

Faith, Hope, and Love, Jacob Holdt Captures Another America

Martha med en kunde / k¾reste, Harlem, NY. 2009 Foto: ©Jacob Holdt.

Marihuanarygende par, som jeg (JH) delte seng med. Jacksonville, FL. 1974 © Jacob Holdt.

S ELL (S ÆLG). Virginia. 1974 Foto: ©Jacob Holdt.

Min (JH) millionærven Bill Gandals superrige venner. Palm Beach, FL. 1973 © Jacob Holdt.

Da et filmhold var med Jacob i USA for at lave filmen Jacob i USA for DK4 lavede de nogle kørescener i Jersey City overfor World Trade Center. Det var kun få måneder før 9/11. Photo©Theis Mortensen, 2001.


Aros Allé 2
8730 6600
Faith, Hope and Love -
Jacob Holdt’s America

February 20-May 30, 2010

Big city people in the rough ghettos, drug addicts on the streets, the poor in their apathetic loneliness, the despondency of the well-heeled, the sick with no money for health care, the white, the black and the hungry. But also images of faith, hope and love — in short the social reality that prevails among the American population.

In cooperation with Louisiana Museum Of Modern Art ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum presents the exhibition Faith, Hope and Love – Jacob Holdt’s America.

For the past 40 years Danish photographer and storyteller Jacob Holdt has documented that the glitz and glamour of the American dream are only part of the picture. Jacob Holdt (b. 1947) became well-known in the 1970s for his book and slideshow lecture American Pictures, with which he toured all over Denmark, showing the USA behind the facade with pictures taken by a man who explored neighbourhoods and areas where no one else dared to go. It is the story of a man who lived as a vagrant in the USA and thus put himself in unique situations, opening up avenues that he has subsequently documented for the world. And it caused a sensation at the time. Today he is equally relevant, as his latest photographs show with all possible clarity.

Jacob Holdt is in possession of a unique image bank packed with slides and photographs from the 1970s until the present day. Many of the 200 pictures have never been seen in public before. ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum has been granted access to these, as Jacob Holdt has generously allowed the museum to dip into his archives and select pictures.

It is the ambition of the exhibition to guide the viewer into the pictorial universe of the photographer Jacob Holdt and to show images of great visual power as viewed with Holdt’s personal, almost anthropological fieldwork-like gaze.

The presentation of Holdt’s pictures falls into thematic sections that reflect the categories in which Holdt himself has filed his images — as sober registrations of the subjects. The pictures in the exhibition are divided up in the same way, so there is no overshadowing of what they are about – the images, the stories; for Holdt is both photographer and storyteller, and for him the pictures are nothing without the stories, without the narratives, without the people at whose lives we are looking.

Police, Affluence, and Guns are some of the headings of the themes. We also get the personal stories of Martha, Mary, and John, a series of photographs of people Holdt visited in the early years and to whom he has continued to return. Other subjects are shown too — for example Landscape and Religion, The Street and The Night, Highways and Sunsets— all pieces that can be assembled into the great mosaic of Holdt’s America.

ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum is also showing the film Holdt!. It paints a portrait of the photographer and some of the Americans he has followed over the decades. The film was produced in 2009. Duration: 25 mins. 
In connection with the exhibition we are publishing a catalogue in Danish and English with a foreword by Poul Erik Tøjner, the director of the Louisiana and with the articles Where have all the flowers gone by the visual artist Erik Steffensen, consultant to the exhibition and chairman of the board of the Danish Arts Foundation; “From advocacy to art” by Sandra Ruffin, one of Jacob Holdt’s American friends of many years, who besides her work as a professor of law has followed Holdt’s work presenting the history of the black Americans; Vagabonding by the writer and photography specialist Geoff Dyer; extracts from the late Susan Sontag’s book Regarding the Pain of Others; and an interview with the title The man who couldn't say 'No' with Jacob Holdt by Mette Marcus, curator at Louisiana and of the exhibition as well as a biography.

Min (JH) million¾rven Bill Gandals superrige venner. Palm Beach, FL. 1973 © Jacob Holdt.

Min værtinde, den tidligere prostituerede Geegurtha i narkoafvænningscentret. Greensboro, NC. 1974 © Jacob Holdt.

Martha med en kunde / kæreste, Harlem, NY. 2009 Foto: © Jacob Holdt.

Svøbt med kærlighed i hadets tomme symbol. Butler, IN. 2002 © Jacob Holdt.