Shoot the Family
Foreword by Judith Olch Richards.
Family photographs are a universally familiar genre, and an intimate one, which makes this collection an accessible entry point for its deceptively simple but deeply complex social and representational issues. In turning their cameras on their own households,17 artists including Miguel Calder*n, Ari Markopoulos, Chris Verene and Gillian Wearing consider the family as a dynamic social institution, and confirm, if there was any doubt, that its affairs are never simply personal, but rather are entwined with and illustrative of broader historical, anthropological and economic considerations. Using the languages of snapshots, documentary and staged photography, as well as conceptual and performance art, and focusing on the undercurrents of contemporary domestic life, these artists link the family to class and financial issues, gender and ethnic stereotypes, shifting marital and generational roles, and the impacts of war and immigration. Emotionally incisive and visually inventive, Shoot the Family transforms that most common artifact--the family photograph--into an illuminating investigation of contemporary culture. Essay by Ralph Rugoff and a short story by Lynne Tillman.