LaToya Ruby Frazier
Social injustice, racism, labor migration, environmental pollution, economic decline of once prosperous industrial cities—these are some of the thematic focal points in the work of the American artist LaToya Ruby Frazier (b. 1982). She is currently one of the most important young photographers in North America. In and with her work, Frazier takes sides with the predominantly underprivileged working class population of the United States, which is forced to live in at times precarious conditions due to, among other things, unemployment, drinking water contamination, or the dismantling of urban infrastructures. In the spirit of the film director and photographer Gordon Parks, LaToya Ruby Frazier increasingly uses her camera as a weapon against injustice, racism, intolerance, and poverty. With the show on LaToya Ruby Frazier the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg presents the first German solo exhibition of the committed and multiple award-winning artist.
With her black-and-white photographs, videos, and performances, LaToya Ruby Frazier focuses on familial and sociopolitical realities that can at the same time claim general validity in terms of their thematic focus. She succeeds in presenting socially relevant themes in a particularly empathetic way, often staging them on the basis of biographical contexts: Her family and friends are thus repeatedly the subject of her photographs. The spectrum of her motifs within the various series therefore extends from intimate glimpses of family life to genre scenes and landscape images that could almost be described as classical, were it not for the knowledge of the often economic and ecological disasters associated with the areas photographed.
The exhibition True Pictures? LaToya Ruby Frazier is the contribution of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg to the collaborative project True Pictures? Contemporary Photography from Canada and the USA. This comprehensive survey of twentieth and twenty-first-century photography was initiated by the Sprengel Museum Hannover and takes place in cooperation with the Museum für Photographie in Braunschweig and the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg. While the museums in Hannover and Braunschweig each provide a broader overview, the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg concentrates on one outstanding photographic position, LaToya Ruby Frazier, and presents this in greater detail with roughly 150 photographs and selected videos. The three institutions are organizing a joint supporting program of lectures, as well as curator and artist discussions.