Photographic Alphabet: K is for Stacy Kranitz
Stacy Kranitz explores the ethical limits of her subversive role as a photographer within a dystopian society in a series that confronts the implicit violence of a southern Ohio compound. The project which culminated in an anomalous archive entitled, Study on Post-pubescent Manhood, is part of a larger body of Kranitz’s work in which she observes subcultures that habitually hyperbolize and celebrate violence through rituals and pastimes. Kranitz’s work recalls the noise from places we’ve left, or an outward expression of our humanity that is not only felt, but remembered.
Kranitz’s work stands out from other documentary style photography as it lacks any sense of “otherness,” as often documenting things like poverty becomes problematic because of the tension it creates between the power and privilege of the viewer and vulnerability of the subject. This creates a sense of voyeurism that does more to engender distance and pity than foster empathy. The genius of Kranitz is that she fully immerses herself in the places and people she works with. She allows herself to be vulnerable, to be photographed herself, and to be malleable in her role as photographer to constantly redefine her limits with each new group of people she shoots. It is a profound sense of presence and the humility to listen that affords Kranitz the power to capture the truths that we all share, despite how we may have become conditioned to personally exercise or express them.
Kranitz is actively traveling around the southern United States continuing to document the places and people that we have long considered so box-upable. Her work is opening our neatly packaged and forgotten archetype boxes and inviting us to explore their contents as they are. The biggest surprise and gift Kranitz offers us, is when we start really looking, we only discover bits of ourselves scattered around in millions of different packages. A grounding sort of mercy for our human condition.
See more of Kranitz's work here