One of the best parts of working in contemporary art is that we often work closely with artists, and are able to build relationships over the course of the many months (and even years!) it takes to bring an exhibition from concept to reality. I consider this close contact and ongoing dialogue with artists to be one of the greatest privileges of my job, so I am always thrilled to find ways to share this experience with our visitors. LaToya Ruby Frazier, whose exhibition A Haunted Capital is on view in our 2nd floor Mezzanine gallery through August 11, 2013, presented just such an opportunity.
In response to a few informal questions I asked about her works in our collection, her photographic process, inspiration, and mentors, LaToya provided literally pages of thoughtful, detailed, and illuminating answers on everything from how she got started as a photographer, to her artistic forebears, to her thoughts on community, representation, inequality, and exploitation. I was floored by the thoroughness and generosity of her response and immediately started thinking about how we could incorporate this unexpected and wonderful resource into the exhibition. Our conversation was turned into a booklet and installed in the gallery for viewers to read, and it now appears here as an online resource as well.
Hearing directly from an artist, in their own words, can be an invaluable addition to one’s own thoughts about a work of art, as was the case in my conversation with LaToya. It provided me with an even fuller and more nuanced understanding of the work on view and of her practice in general, an understanding which I’m so happy to be able to share with you!
Rujeko Hockley joined the Brooklyn Museum in 2012 as Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art. Her interests include modern and contemporary art, with a particular focus on conceptual and other avant-garde practices, science fiction, social movements, and the African diaspora. She comes to the Brooklyn Museum from San Diego, where she is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California, San Diego. Prior to this, she worked as Curatorial Assistant at The Studio Museum in Harlem (2005-07). She has organized exhibitions and programs at various independent spaces in San Diego and New York, and has written broadly on contemporary art. She received her B.A. in Art History from Columbia University.