For almost thirty years, Charles Rozier has photographed his family, capturing the heartbreaking, wistful and poignant moments of everyday life.
Brought together in a new book titled House Music, the images chronicle multiple generations of his extended family between 1987 and 2014 and create a story that speaks to all of us.
“In my twenties, during the late 1970s, I began taking unposed portraits of the people around me, which eventually became a reflexive habit,” Rozier said. “Inevitably over time, these pictures began to coalesce loosely into a narrative…those twenty-six years provided me with a remarkable cast of characters whose striking combination of anxiety, ferocity, and charisma ultimately gave this work its life.”
The photographs present a series of meaningful moments framed by the stage of ordinary surroundings. Circumstance and familiarity have made Rozier invisible – in very few images do we see any recognition of his actions by his subjects – but we are deeply aware of his presence. Though the photographer does not appear in these images, House Music is definitely a self-portrait.
In her essay in the book, Alison Nordström, an independent scholar, writer and curator writes: “Rozier establishes a universe that, despite its apparent familiarity, is set apart from the world as it is. This is, to some extent, a function of two distinctive palettes: the deeply contrasting tones of his black and white images, and the dark and muted spectrum of his way with colour.
“It is usually difficult to combine colour and black and white images in a publication or on a gallery wall, yet Rozier’s reliance on a substantially chronological structure makes the shift from monochrome to colour feel both inevitable and significant in its own right, forcing us to recognize and accept change over time.”
House Music by Charles Rozier is published by Dewi Lewis Publishing.