Zora J Murff: True Colors (or, Affirmations in a Crisis)
Photographs by Zora J Murff. Contributions by Tay Butler, Nick Drain, Jay Simple, Bill Gaskins, Sasha Phyars-Burgess, Legacy Russe...
Murff constructs a manual for coming to terms with the historic and contemporary realities of America’s divisive structures of privilege and caste. Since leaving social work to pursue photography over a decade ago, Murff’s work has consistently grappled with the complicit entanglement of the medium in the histories of spectacle, commodification, and race, often contextualizing his own photographs with found and appropriated images and commissioned texts. True Colors continues that work, expanding to address the act of remembering and the politics of self, which Murff identifies as “the duality of Black patriotism and the challenges of finding belonging in places not made for me—of creating an affirmation in a moment of crisis as I learn to remake myself in my own image.” Nuanced, challenging, and inspiring, True Colors (or, Affirmations in a Crisis) is a must-have monograph by a rising and standout artist.
True Colors is the result of the inaugural Next Step Award, a partnership between Aperture and Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York, with the generous support of 7G Foundation. An exhibition of the work will open at Baxter St in New York in November 2021.
Format: Paperback / softback
Number of pages: 256
Number of images: 155
Publication date: 2022-01-25
Measurements: 10 x 12 x 12 inches
Zora J Murff (born in Des Moines, Iowa, 1987) is assistant professor of photography at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. In 2019, Murff was named an Aperture Portfolio Prize finalist, a PDN 30 honoree, and a Light Work Artist-in-Residence; he was one of eight artists chosen for the most recent iteration of the Museum of Modern Art’s New Photography series, Companion Pieces: New Photography 2020. Murff’s books include Corrections (2015); LOST, Omaha (2018); and At No Point In Between (2019). His work will be presented at the 2021 Rencontres d’Arles, France, as part of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award.
Tay Butler is a multidisciplinary artist currently pursuing his MFA in the University of Arkansas’s photography and studio art program.
Nick Drain is an artist and recent graduate of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.
Jay Simple is an artist and visiting assistant professor of photography at Longwood University, Farmville, Virginia, and founder of the Photographer’s Green Book, a DEI resource for photographers.
Bill Gaskins is associate professor in the Department of Art at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Sasha Phyars-Burgess is a photographer. Her forthcoming first book, Untitled, will be published in 2021.
Legacy Russell is associate curator of exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem.
Terence Washington is an art historian, writer, and program director at NXTHVN, New Haven, Connecticut.
Rana Young is a photographer and visiting assistant professor in photography at the University of Arkansas.
Widline Cadet is a photographer and 2020–21 Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York.
Nicole Norman is a photographer, writer, and MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas.
Aaron Turner is founder of the Center for Photographers of Color, and educator at the University of Arkansas.