Jim Kidd (Save Our Community Hospital), 2011. Silver gelatin print, 20 × 16 in (50.8 × 40.6 cm). Courtesy the artist
LaToya Ruby Frazier’s Proposition will address her concern for preserving the stories and lives of residents in her hometown of Braddock, Pennsylvania. Starting this summer, Frazier will be an artist in residence at the Andrew Carnegie Braddock Library, one of America’s first Carnegie libraries. While most of Frazier’s photographic works address psychological space, in her new project she will explore an architectural public space. Frazier will face the challenge of how to create a new archive that preserves local memory and a process that opens space to reflect on the current state of revitalization.
Day 1 – Thursday May 17, 7 p.m.
Day 2 – Saturday May 19, 3 p.m.: Special Guest Sharon Zukin
The collaboration between LaToya Ruby Frazier and her family blurs the line between self-portraiture and social documentary. Frazier uses photography to explore themes of the body and landscape, familial and communal history, private and public space, and the human condition. Frazier studied at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania, where she developed an interest in social and personal documentary-style photography. Her fascination with the photography projects commissioned by the Farm Security Administration during the Great Depression has informed her work, which explores issues of propaganda, politics, and the importance of subjectivity. She attended Syracuse University, where she studied with Carrie Mae Weems. As a result of conversations with Weems, Frazier began investigating issues of class, capitalism, and the postmodern condition in her work. Recently, Frazier has focused on creating photographs that address environmental injustices and explore issues of healthcare and class.
Sharon Zukin is Professor of Sociology at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center. She is the author of Loft Living, Landscapes of Power, The Cultures of Cities, Point of Purchase, and most recently, Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places. Zukin received the C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems for Landscapes of Power, and the Robert and Helen Lynd Award for Career Achievement in Urban Sociology from the Community and Urban Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. She holds a PhD from Columbia University and lives in New York City.