Rising star LaToya Ruby Frazier began to photograph herself and her family as a teenager. Now 31, her recent work extends that intimate circle to include her hometown, Braddock, Pennsylvania, which was decimated by the collapse of the American steel industry in the 1970s. The struggle for economic opportunity and access to health care by Braddock’s marginalized residents in the wake of the controversial 2010 demolition of the community’s largest employer, Braddock Hospital, inspired Frazier’s 2011 series, Campaign for Braddock Hospital (Save Our Community Hospital). The series, which debuted at the 2012 Whitney Biennial, will be on view at the Center for Documentary Studies from November 19, 2012 through February 23, 2013.
Campaign for Braddock Hospital (Save Our Community Hospital)
Photographs by LaToya Ruby Frazier
November 19, 2012–February 23, 2013
Kreps Gallery, Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina Directions
Frazier will visit CDS for an artist’s talk on Tuesday, February 12, 2013; 6 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. talk.
Campaign for Braddock Hospital includes documentary photographs of citizen protests as well as repurposed ads from a campaign by the Levi’s clothing company that drew on Braddock’s industrial history. Frazier transformed those images into black-and-white photolithographs and screenprints that reference early-twentieth century advertising and social documentary. The CDS exhibit will also include the projection of a video by Frazier and her mother, DETOX (Braddock U.P.M.C.), that concerns health issues in Braddock’s industrial landscape.
Since 2007, LaToya Ruby Frazier has been the associate curator for the Mason Gross Galleries at Rutgers University, where she has also taught photography in the Mason Gross School of the Arts. In 2012 she was appointed critic in photography at Yale University. She closed out 2012 with a solo gallery showing at Art Basel Miami Beach; in 2013, a retrospective exhibit of her work at the Brooklyn Museum will be followed by a solo show at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.
The exhibit at CDS coincides with Duke University’s year-long commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the enrollment of African American students.