“When was the last time you went to a museum and you went in fear?” asks Jerome Liebling. “That this exhibit… was going to change your life, was going to challenge you, was going to make you figure out what the hell is going on, was going to make you a better or worse person.” A former professor at the University of Minnesota and current professor emeritus at Hampshire College, Liebling has a solo show of his photography at MCP, the Minnesota Center for Photography. His work spans nearly five decades and covers “serious stuff,” what he terms “the politics of everyday life”–the faces that populate America’s small towns, urban centers, factory lines, reservations, and housing projects. In a new short film, Looking at Liebling by Mike “Media Mike” Hazard, Liebling shares a bit of his philosophy:
Either there is always going to be pain, and if there is, it’d better be fairly distributed. There are no superiors. I think we’re all about the same. But there certainly are advantages in life. And money. And who writes the history, and who says who’s got it. And the rich control the history. I suppose I’m saying: these are valuable people.
Jerome Liebling: Selected Photographs at MCP closes Sunday, June 11.