LaToya Ruby Frazier,The Last Cruze: Lost Labor

CAPTION: United Auto Workers and their families holding up Drive It Home campaign signs outside UAW Local 1112 Reuther, Scandy, Alli union hall, Lordstown OH. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER AND GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE NEW YORK/ROME
United Auto Workers and their families holding up Drive It Home campaign signs outside UAW Local 1112 Reuther, Scandy, Alli union hall, Lordstown OH. PHOTOS: COURTESY OF LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER AND GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE NEW YORK/ROME

Visual artist, LaToya Ruby Frazier showcases her collaborative storytelling with the people who appear in her photographs, videos, texts, interviews, and performances in her latest exhibition, The last Cruze at The Renaissance Society in Chicago, IL.

The Last Cruze zooms in on Lordstown, Ohio and the automotive union there. Fraizer focuses on the United Auto Workers Local 1112, and through this lens sheds light on the economic crisis that the workers and their families are now enduring.

In The Last Cruze reveals the corporate culture of profits over people and the destruction of families and an entire community, in the deeper context, she explores the dynamics of unions and their pitfalls.

Her work also addresses trauma through creating a foundation her practice to fully understand the historical and political moments of our generation, the viewer develops an understanding of how corruption against people of color leading up to now has written the layout for our American culture and society.

The Last Cruze introduces an important moment in Frazier’s examination of work, family, and social circles.

CAPTION: Cindy Higinbotham and Monet Hostutler, best friends and banner carriers, in the Lordstown High School band room, Lordstown OH PHOTOS: COURTESY OF LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER AND GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE NEW YORK/ROME
CAPTION: Cindy Higinbotham and Monet Hostutler, best friends and banner carriers, in the Lordstown High School band room, Lordstown OH PHOTOS: COURTESY OF LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER AND GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE NEW YORK/ROME

She creates a platform representing social justice through her photographic lens. We are able to take a deeper look through visual representation into the working-class families. This need for investigation originates from her commitment to being apart of the expanding histories of 1930s social documentation and to create a platform relevant to 1960s and 70s conceptual photographic practices that sermonize urgent daily social and political issues.

Not by accident today, the opening of The Last Cruze falls on the same date that current UAW contract with GM expires. While the current stay of these union workers in Cruze’s work has an unknown path ahead of them her lens and vision call attention to documentary photography is a beautiful, raw, and defiant moment.

The Last Cruze, contrary to the title allows the viewer to know that this is not the end but just the beginning and like social documentary photograph there will be more images ahead. (Caira Moreira-Brown)

CAPTION: Dan Morgan, Local 1112 Shop Chairman, in his office at UAW Local 1112 Reuther, Scandy, Alli union hall (25 years in at GM Lordstown Assembly, trim shop), Lordstown OH PHOTOS: COURTESY OF LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER AND GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE NEW YORK/ROME CAPTION FOR IMAGE BELOW: Kesha Scales hugging Beverly Williams in her living room (22 years in at GM Lordstown Assembly, pressroom),
Dan Morgan, Local 1112 Shop Chairman, in his office at UAW Local 1112 Reuther, Scandy, Alli union hall (25 years in at GM Lordstown Assembly, trim shop), Lordstown OH PHOTOS: COURTESY OF LATOYA RUBY FRAZIER AND GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE NEW YORK/ROME

LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze Sept. 14–Dec. 1. Hyde Park. Renaissance Society, University of Chicago. Free. renaissancesociety.org

Kesha Scales hugging Beverly Williams in her living room (22 years in at GM Lordstown Assembly, pressroom),
Kesha Scales hugging Beverly Williams in her living room (22 years in at GM Lordstown Assembly, pressroomo),

About Caira Moreira-Brown

Caira Moreira-Brown is a Chicago-New York based art and culture writer and arts professional with experience in museums and galleries. She holds a B.A. in Art History with a concentration in African-American Art from The Ohio State University. She has held positions at Fredrich Petzel Gallery, Kim Heirston Art Advisory, 67 Gallery, Castor Gallery, Joseph Editions, The Wexner Center for Art, The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards and EXPO Chicago.In addition to her writing, Caira was photographed by Andres Serrano for his America Series that comprises about 100 portraits of people from many different walks of life.