Posted March 31, 2022 in Member News
SPE Women's Caucus founding member, Linda Brooks, presents Proximities as a documentary memoir considering the social, cultural, historical and aesthetic context in which Brooks' work has evolved. In addition to featuring full-page plates of Brooks' artwork, the premise of the book suggests that teaching and making art are forms of activism. In part a memoir, the book recounts her participation in alternative art spaces of the 1970s, such as Hallwalls in Buffalo, NY, and her experience as a claimant in the landmark Rajender Consent Decree with the University of Minnesota. PROXIMITIES reveals correlations between personal narratives and cultural contexts. Among the long-term projects included are, between the birthdays, interactions of family dynamics, the lifecycles series of archived images and objects, and teens, portraits combined with their personal texts. Sara Fowler, the innovative book designer who notably worked on the Hearts of Our People Native Women Artists catalog for the Mia exhibition, designed PROXIMITIES. Essays by photography historian and writer George Slade, artist Linda Gammell, and Elaine Tyler May, Regents Professor of American Studies and History, University of Minnesota evocatively frame Brooks' five decades of creativity and quiet leadership in photography, teaching, and social activism.
"PROXIMITIES displays the admirable insights of Linda Brooks' lifework (so far). It ranges from fond but revealing images of family and unexpected portraits of clothes, to a wonderful series of teenagers, including their own comments. These casual, intimate and penetrating portraits of people in place would in some hands would be boringly conventional. Brooks' feminist focus endows them with a new and illuminating life."
— LUCY R. LIPPARD, author, art critic, activist, curator