Thomas Roma, Author, Thomas Roma, Photographer, Norman Mailer, Foreword by . PowerHouse $40 (184p) ISBN 978-1-57687-102-7

Camping out in the Brooklyn Criminal Court building from December 1997 to early 1999, Roma (Come Sunday), photographer and director of photography for Columbia University, talked to victims, defendants, trial witnesses and their families, and sometimes took their portraits then and there. The result is this collection of 83 duotones that give human faces to the application of the law. As Norman Mailer writes in a short foreword, "justice comes to long dead hours sitting around," as the beleaguered visages and tired bodies here readily attest. As Robert Coles, Harvard social ethicist and presidential Medal of Freedom winner, puts it in an introduction, these photos show "the struggle of various Americans to find themselves, to get a grip on their emotional moorings, to steer clear of all sorts of perplexing and scary legal imperatives as they descend upon one's eyes, ears, thoughts, anticipations, expectations, amidst a series of events that have their own momentum, logic, prompt their own requirements, madness, obligations." That sentence's complexities perfectly reflect those of the photographs. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 06/25/2001
Release date: 04/01/2001
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