LaToya Ruby Frazier, Pier 54, A Human Right to Passage, 2015
Informed by documentary practices from the turn of the last century, LaToya Ruby Frazier (born 1982, USA) explores identities of place, race, and family in work that is a hybrid of self-portraiture and social narrative. The crumbling landscape of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a once-thriving steel town, forms the backdrop of her images, which make manifest both the environmental and infrastructural decay caused by postindustrial decline and the lives of those who continue—largely by necessity—to live amongst it. Her work belongs to a long tradition of committed photographers including Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Gordon Parks.
Going beyond the bounds of the documentary photograph, LaToya Ruby Frazier produces complex compositions with multiple centrings and mises en abyme and calling on the performative gesture. Her contribution to the Pier 54 project on the New York City Highline was a performance in which she brandishes flags on which are printed historic photographs linked to the pier. She will be replaying that series on denim flags (denim being originally “de Nîmes”, from Nîmes), with reference to her 2011 series Campaign for Braddock Hospital in which she responded to a campaign for Levis jeans at Braddock.
She has exhibited mostly in the United States (MOMA, New Museum New York, the Whitney Biennale Museum or the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art) and has now her debut exhibition in France: LaToya Ruby Frazier: Performing Social Landscapes at the Carré d’Art-Musée d’art contemporain de Nimes, 16 October 2015 - 13 March 2016.
LaToya Ruby Frazier is the only photographer among 24 winners of the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellows 2015 grant. She will receive $625,000 over the course of five years to support her documentary work.
Medium: Print on denim
Size: 42 cm x 62 cm - (16.54 in x 24.41 in.)
Edition of 25
Signed and numbered
This limited LaToya Ruby Frazier edition is available at New Art Editions