LaToya Ruby Frazier documents the effects of economic and environmental decline in her hometown of Braddock, a borough in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Using photography, performance, video, and installation, Frazier exposes the exploitation of the landscape of Braddock and the experience of its citizens, making visible the liminal place between the stark abandonment of completely deindustrialized sites and a continued battle with the environmental and social effects of surviving in industry’s wake. Focusing on Frazier and the women in her family, Riveted presents a range of artworks that explores identity, place, complex familial relationships, the legacies of industrialization, and illness.
Through the act of photographing herself, her mother, her grandmother, and cousins, Frazier engages with the history of social documentary photography and attests to her particular experience of localized systemic racism reinforced through social and environmental conditions. Themes of intergenerational dynamics, arcs of boom and bust, environmental racism, and the personal as political permeate the exhibition.
Given Austin’s recent rapid socio-economic changes and its disproportionate impact on poor communities of color, Riveted offers an important view of the lived experience of what comes in the wake of unregulated economic booms, including gentrification.
Riveted continues with a new selection of works on view at the ISESE Gallery in the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (Jester A232A) from January 15, 2015 to May 6, 2015.
Curated by INGZ Collective / Uchenna Itam, Julia Neal, Rebecca Giordano, and Natalie Zelt.
Riveted is organized by Center Space Project, the student arts organization of the VAC, which oversees Center Space, an exhibition space within the VAC that showcases the artistic and curatorial work of undergraduate and graduate students at The University of Texas at Austin. Generous support for Center Space Project comes from Robin and Trey Hancock.
Riveted is co-presented with the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies ISESE Gallery and the Harry Ransom Center. Additional exhibition support comes from The Ford Foundation, CAAD: Center for Art of Africa and its Diasporas, Austin Center for Photography, College of Fine Arts, Department of American Studies, African and African Diasporas Studies Department, Fluent~Collaborative, and the Viola S. Hoffman and George W. Hoffman Lectureship in Liberal Arts and Fine Arts at the Humanities Institute.
LaToya Ruby Frazier was born and raised in Braddock, Pennsylvania. She earned a BFA in Applied Media Arts from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2004 and an MFA in Art Photography from Syracuse University in 2007. She completed the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program in 2011. Her work is informed by late 19th- and early 20th-century modes of representation in documentary practice. With an emphasis on postmodern conditions, class, and capitalism, Frazier investigates issues of propaganda, politics, and the importance of subjectivity. The monograph LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Notion of Family will be published in September 2014.