Twenty years since it’s publication, this unique screening revisits Raised by Wolves – Goldberg’s seminal photo book project – in order to evaluate its timeless themes in relation to the latest exhibition at the ICA’s Fox Reading Room, Smiler: Photographs of London by Mark Cawson.
As part of the ICA’s public programme, this evening of films juxstaposed the lives of those who lived on the fringes of society in London and California during the 1980s and early 1990s, questioning their motives and asking: can street photography be used as social barometer?
Constructed and communicated through metanarratives within the book itself, the photographic series, the interviews with the kids of LA and remnants from the lives of Tweeky Dave and Echo—doctors reports, psychiatric tests and doodles—weave themselves seamlessly into one another. Goldberg the photographer and Jim the character both turn up repeatedly throughout. As a document, completely of its time, Raised by Wolves brings to light timeless concerns which manifested themselves throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s in the US. These are social struggles which seem to get left behind from mainstream social histories.
Since its publication, Raised by Wolves has evolved into a multimedia project which incorporates audio archives, home movies, video productions and reproductions of the original out of print book.
The programme consisted of a very poor and hungover introduction by me, a short film made from scans of the book by Jim Goldberg’s studio, ‘Echo’s Home Movies’ – a documentation of a media installation charting the lives of one of the protagonist’s family and ‘Dave and Echo at Carl Jr’s’ – archive hand held footage taken as research by Goldberg in the early 1990s.
I was incredibly privelaged to be granted access to films by Jim and his studio and I can’t thank him enough.