MoCP Chicago

Museum of Contemporary Photography / Columbia College Chicago | 600 S. Michigan Ave
IL-60605 Chicago

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artists & participants

press release

Recognizing both the allure and the inherent fiction of image-based narrative, the three artists in the exhibition Backstory: LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ron Jude, and Guillaume Simoneau, tell autobiographical stories by intertwining their personal narrative with the social, political, and cultural conditions of place. By mixing familial and communal histories, the artists blur the boundaries between the personal and the collective as they mirror the fluidity of our information-saturated world.

LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER LaToya Ruby Frazier documents the economic and social struggles of her family and community in Braddock, Pennsylvania. Frazier's family story is told through photographs made by both Frazier and her mother. With their collaboration, a dialog about identity as it pertains to one's self, family, and community emerges alongside a nuanced portrait of the shifting circumstances of blue-collar America.

RON JUDE In his project emmett, Ron Jude resurrects and reprints photographs he took as a teenager in the 1980s to investigate the past as an idea, and recognize the incomprehensibility of self and place. The images originated in the remote state of Idaho where Jude was raised and are pieced together to simultaneously act as a fabrication and a hint of what life for a nineteen-year-old might have actually been like in that place and time. emmett is the second work in a trilogy by Jude that begins with Alpine Star, a book he made using photographs culled exclusively from his hometown newspaper, and ends with Lick Creek Line, a photo essay about a fur trapper in Idaho that traverses the gray area between documentation and fiction.

GUILLAUME SIMONEAU Simoneau’s on-again, off-again relationship with a woman named Caroline Annandale is chronicled in his project Love and War. Both in their early twenties, the couple began a feverish, youthful relationship and traveled the world together just prior to September 11, 2001. After the terrorist attacks on the United States, Annandale enlisted in the US army and was sent to Iraq. The two grew apart, Annandale eventually marrying someone else, but they reunited several years later upon her return from war to begin a tumultuous second chapter in their relationship. Using a variety of images of photographs, text messages, emails and handwritten notes, Simoneau reveals the lasting impact – the invisible, indelible, and often irreversible effects both love and war have on people’s lives.

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LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ron Jude and Guillaume Simoneau

LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ron Jude, Guillaume Simoneau