Jared Ragland, 2024

RESEARCH STATEMENT


As a White House Photo Editor I had a front row seat to history. From photographs of George W. Bush standing atop the rubble of the World Trade Center to images of Barack Obama monitoring the raid on Osama bin Laden, I have touched consequential pictures and witnessed firsthand the power of photographs to bear witness and catalyze change. Yet conventional documentary approaches have also perpetuated patriarchal and colonialist power structures, reinforced stereotypes, and objectified marginalized peoples. As a concerned citizen and artist—and as a person of privilege—I have a responsibility to critically confront these problematic traditions while pursuing authentic, ethical relationships with the people and places represented in my work. By establishing collaborative partnerships built on empathy and mutual trust and utilizing a range of photographic tactics alongside social science, literary, and historical research methodologies, my goal is to create possibilities for thoughtful narratives that sensitively and ethically engage the deep complexities of identity, marginalization, and history of place and connect participants and viewers through shared stories.

Current methodologies and research interests: fine art and documentary photography and photojournalism; social-engaged practice and interdisciplinary collaboration; traditional darkroom, digital, and alternative processes; photographic history; image/text relationships; appropriation and collage; installation; bookmaking.

Recent and ongoing projects: What Has Been Will Be Again; The Circle; Hellbender; Where You Come From is Gone

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