For the past several years—and with seemingly limitless access—American photographer Richard Ross has been making unsettling and thought-provoking pictures of architectural spaces that exert power over the individuals within them. These compelling, sometimes disturbing, images are brought together in Architecture of Authority, which is accompanied by a book of the same title published by Aperture. From a Montessori preschool, to churches and mosques, to an interrogation room at Guantánamo and segregation cells at Abu Ghraib, Ross’s photographs reflect the state of the post 9/11 where we have become increasingly accustomed to the abuse of power, erosion of individual liberty, illegitimate authority, and constant surveillance.
Richard Ross (b.1947) has been working on assignments for many prestigious publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Discover, Time, and Newsweek. Ross has published nearly a dozen books, including Museology (Aperture, 1989) and Waiting for the End of the World (Princeton Architecture Press, 2004). He has recently received a Guggenheim award to continue photographing this series. Since 1977, Ross has taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara and is the principal photographer for the Getty Conservation Institute where he documents their research work in El Salvador, Honduras, Tunisia, and China. The work from this series had its show debut at the ACME Gallery in Los Angeles last summer.