Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chauncey Hare

The story of Chauncey Hare is a rather strange one. Self assigned almost every title except "photographer", Hare saw himself more as social scientist, therapist and protester. After quickly becoming disenfranchised with the photo art world, he abandoned photography and donated his life's work to the Bancroft Library of the University of California in Berkeley.

Information about Hare and his work is relatively sparse. However, his two monographs, Interior America (1977) and This Was Corporate America (1984), are attainable albeit expensive. Steidl has plans to publish Protest Photographs this coming May. This description of the book on the Steidl website addresses Hare's staunch humanism:

"He describes his strong identification with the people whose homes he photographs and his adamant unwillingness to betray them by selling their photographs at any price. He tells of his struggles to have his photographs, accompanied by explanatory text, accepted by the art world. He relates the abusive situations he has endured in his childhood, and in his work life as an engineer at a major oil company and at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency."

All Images © Chauncey Hare