Ross uses a cumbersome eight–by–ten–inch view camera on a tripod and prints her negatives on printing–out paper; she places them on the paper in the sun for exposure, sometimes for several hours. This old-fashioned process provides exquisite detail and renders Ross’s subjects with astonishing fidelity.
Ross launched her project of photographing in schools in 1992, when she decided to revisit her past by taking pictures of children in the small-town Pennsylvania public schools she had attended. This portrait invites us to compare two girls who are beginning to make decisions about who they will become. Because they are twins, the formulation of their individual identities may be especially fraught, or at least different from the norm. This photograph is a welcome display of empathy that helps us remember and reflect on the immense vulnerability that defines a child’s experience.
Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 133.