LaToya Ruby Frazier is one of the most influential photographers of her generation. Since the early 2000s, the Pittsburgh-born African-American artist has been developing a documentary practice that is both personal and militant, in touch with the social, political and economic realities of contemporary American society.
Produced between 2001 and 2014 around three generations of women – her grandmother, her mother and herself – the ambitious series that made her famous, The Notion of Family, bears witness to the decline of Braddock, a suburb of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania and former steel capital, which has become a ghost town. From individual experiences, the artist brings out a collective African-American history and issues of universal significance. “Braddock is everywhere,” she says.
The Notion Of Family will be accompanied by two recent series that extend her focus on the working classes and the relationship between personal life and social and political issues. The first, On the Making of Steel Genesis: Sandra Gould Ford (2017), is the result of a close collaboration with Sandra Gould Ford, an African-American photographer and writer who worked in the Pittsburgh steel industry and documented life in the factories and their closure in many ways. The second, Et des terrils un arbre s’élèvera (2016-2017), is the result of an ambitious project carried out in the Borinage region near Mons, Belgium, with former miners and their families.
LaToya Ruby Frazier
12 February – 18 March 2020
Centre de la photographie Genève
Bac — Bâtiment d’art contemporain
28, rue des Bains
In collaboration with MUDAM Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean
Image: LaToya Ruby Frazier, Grandma Ruby and Me, 2005. Source: Centre de la photographie Genève