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PROXIMITIES art education activism

PROXIMITIES redresses an historical gap in the literature on women in photography. Brooks influenced two generations of college and high school students in Minnesota, where she has lived since 1976. She has pushed students to find their passions for self-expression in photography. Brooks herself has modeled a career as a persistent agent of change. One example is the 2005 exhibition YOUNG VOICES: photographs of/by girls/teens/women she curated of her teens photographs and texts alongside nearly 90 student works in contrast to an adjacent exhibition of photographs from Girl Culture by Lauren Greenfield in North Minneapolis.

As author Lucy Lippard observed, “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 be boringly conventional. Brooks’ feminist focus endows them with a new and illuminating life.”

Scholar and photography historian Sally Stein published a lengthy review of PROXIMITIES in the June 2021 issue of the journal Afterimage (University of California Press). In it she distills her close reading of images, texts and essays to convey the context and dynamics of Brooks’ projects. In conclusion Stein writes, “This is her testament to her place and contribution in that complex world we inhabit, learning from others, exploring and organizing numerous modes of critical expression that others carry forward with their own acts and creations.”

“I am thrilled to feature Linda’s work in our first monograph,” says George Slade, TC Photo’s founder and director. “PROXIMITIES is an overdue account of her role in the evolution of socially-conscious photography since the early 1980s. Linda is a critical proponent of feminist issues. I have known and admired her work for almost 30 years, and can’t imagine a more fitting person to have spotlit in this way.”


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