Review: “Picture Industry” at Bard College

View of LaToya Ruby Frazier’s installation of materials related to her September 2016 Elle magazine story, “Flint Is Family,” in “Picture Industry” at Bard College.

Art In America
November 1, 2017
by Ariel Goldberg

“Picture Industry,” curated by artist Walead Beshty for Bard College’s Hessel Museum of Art, champions multimedia art, periodicals, and moving images that theorize the medium of photography. The walls of the entrance to the exhibition are alight with projections of digitally transferred silent films from the turn of the twentieth century featuring workers leaving factories, including the famed 1895 reel by the Lumière brothers.


Some of the best moments of “Picture Industry” are those that show in detail the stages by which visual information enters the world. LaToya Ruby Frazier exhibits a vitrine containing materials related to her September 2016 Elle magazine photo essay, “Flint Is Family,” portraying the lives of poet Shea Cobb and her family members in Flint, Michigan, which is still suffering from the water crisis that began in 2014. The vitrine is layered with proofs of the essay, medium-format black-and-white contact sheets, a copy of the thick, glossy magazine opened to the story, and Cobb’s handwritten poem “No Filter,” which she reads in a voiceover at the beginning of a related film by Frazier. The film is shown as part of a six-hour screening program that plays on loop in a nearby black-box gallery.

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Courtesy of: Art In America