Graduate Research + Exhibition: Natalie Zelt on LaToya Ruby Frazier

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Today, the first of two Austin-area exhibitions, both featuring the work of photographer LaToya Ruby Frazier and curated by the INGZ curatorial collective, opens at the UT Visual Arts Center, located in the ART building. INGZ’s Z is AMS grad student Natalie Zelt, who wrote her master’s report on Frazier. She elaborates on the project:

I had been familiar with Frazier’s work for a while, but I have this problem where I tend to be extra skeptical of photographers working in the rustbelt who deal with deindustialization. It wasn’t until I got to spend time in Contemporary Arts Museum Houston’s exhibition “Witness” that I really got a sense of how her photographs work as both object and images on so many different registers. Seeing a solo exhibition really brings out the ways that she is conceptually using the history of photography as a tool in here work. That is part of why INGZ is bringing two exhibitions to Austin, both under the title “LaToya Ruby Frazier: Riveted.”

The black and white gelatin silver prints, the documentary style, her use of mostly analogue process and commitment to photography as an activist medium all harken to a history of photography that has been criticized for being aloof, marginalizing, and voyeuristic. Frazier is using this history and its criticisms when she makes these intensely personal and political images.

But the study and engagement with her work begs to move beyond a masters project. Thats part of why the INGZ collective decided to bring two exhibitions to Austin. At a moment when the very city around us is experience industry driven growth, not all that unlike the boom in Braddock in the 1950s, it is important for people to bear witness to LaToya’s experience.

The first exhibition is open at UTVAC until December 6th. Reservations for tours with the curators are available for classes and interested groups, please email info@ingzcollective.org for scheduling information. The second exhibition runs from January 15, 2015 to May 6, 2015 at ISESE Gallery in the John L. Warfield Center for African and African American Studies (Jester A232A).

 

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