Zoe Strauss at Philadelphia Museum of Art
Zoe Strauss: Ten Years
January 14, 2012 - April 22, 2012
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Honickman and Berman Galleries
Half House on Boulevard, Philadelphia, 2005
Curated by Peter Barberie, The Brodsky Curator of Photographs, Alfred Stieglitz Center, Zoe Strauss: Ten Years is a mid-career retrospective of her work and the first critical assessment of her ten-year project to exhibit her photographs annually in a space beneath a section of Interstate-95 (I-95) in South Philadelphia.
Zoe's subjects are broad but her primary focus is on working-class experience, including the most disenfranchised people and places. Her photographs offer a poignant, troubling portrait of contemporary America.
Between 2001 and 2010, Zoe hosted yearly day-long exhibitions of her photographs under an elevated section of I-95. She affixed prints to columns in an area roughly the size of a football field, providing visitors with a map keyed to a list of photograph titles. Prints of the exhibited images were available for sale for five dollars, with Strauss stationed at a nearby table to sign them. These installations animated the site with art, commerce, and social interaction, transforming it into a vibrant public space.
Untrained as a photographer or artist, Zoe nevertheless founded the Philadelphia Public Art Project in 1995 with the objective of exhibiting art in nontraditional venues. She turned to the camera in 2000 as the most direct instrument to represent her chosen subjects. In 2006, Zoe participated in the Whitney Biennial. In 2008 she published her first book, America.
Visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art website page for more information on Zoe Strauss: Ten Years, including events and programs: www.philamuseum.org/zoe10years