On Photography, Visibility, and psychic histories
Tarrah Krajnak uses expanded forms of documentary practice to question the role of photography in shaping history. Spanning the political, personal, and institutional, she will discuss her recent and ongoing projects, as well as how the role of educator continues to shape her studio practice, as part of the School of Art’s Visiting Artists and Scholars Endowment (VASE) series.
About Tarrah Krajnak
Krajnak is an artist researcher with Unseen California based in Los Angeles. She was born in Lima, Peru, in 1979. Her 2021 book project, “El Jardín De Senderos Que Se Bifurcan,” is named after a time-bending short story by Borges. It moves between found photographs, original writing, and appropriated images taken from 1979 Peruvian political magazines. Indigenous to Peru and orphaned as an infant, Krajnak was adopted into a transracial American family. After 30 years she returns to the orphanage to understand her place within the historical narratives of her birthplace.
“El Jardín de Senderos Que Se Bifurcan” was shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photo First Book Award and named to MoMA’s inaugural list of 10 photo books of the year. The book is now in numerous library collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Yale University, RISD, Printed Matter, and The National Library among others.
Krajnak’s research for Unseen California will take place on sites closely related to Ansel Adams and Edward Weston for her ongoing series “Master Rituals,” in which she uses the camera, her body and performance to engage with the problematic canons of modern photography through acts of erasure, redaction, and re-enactment.
Her photographs are held in numerous public and private collections, including the Centre Pompidou, Museum Ludwig, and the Pinault. Her work has been published and reviewed in Aperture, Artforum, New York Review of Books, Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles, Glasstire, Contact Sheet, East of Borneo, and others. Residencies include Bemis, Light Work, and Center for Photography Woodstock. Recent exhibitions include CalArts REDCAT Los Angeles, Art Basel, Paris Photo, Photo London, Rencontres d’Arles, Filter Photo, Houston Center for Photography, SUR Biennial, and Silver Eye, among others.
She is the recipient of the Jury Prize of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Hariban Grand Prize, Kyoto, Japan, and a 2020 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize.
The School of Art focuses on bringing renowned and diverse artists and scholars from around the world to our campus. These visitors bring their own unique influences to the program by engaging with community members, students, and faculty through salons, lectures and exhibitions. Tara Krajnak’s event is co-sponsored by the Center for Creative Photography and the School of Art.