Labor and Photography

Hammer Building, Level 3
March 18, 2017–June 11, 2017

This selection of 14 photographs from LACMA’s permanent collection is organized around questions of labor and representation: What does work look like? What does a worker look like? How do class, gender, and race influence the way we view work or the way we value workers? Representations of labor are reflected in every style of photography, from documentary photojournalism to abstract experimental photography. Individually, each grouping of photographs focuses on a different aspect of labor. Collectively, the photographs offer a rebuke to capitalism’s reductive vision of work as either a daily grind for survival or a money-driven race to the top by encouraging a more nuanced approach to the many ways that concepts of labor and representations of laborers shape our lives.

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Image: Anthony Hernandez, Rodeo Drive, 1984, dye destruction print, 13 3/8 x 19 5/8 in., LACMA, The Majorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, gift of The Annenberg Foundation, acquired from Carol Vernon and Robert Turbin. © Anthony Hernandez