Tarrah Krajnak

Biography

“Using a temporary darkroom, multiple projections, large format cameras, and re-photography I imaginatively “return” my body to Lima, Peru in 1979, the year I was adopted from an orphanage there. The resulting series of self-portraits emerge from intersections between the city’s fraught history and my own, making visible the ways that violent or traumatic histories can be held in bodies and excluded from archives. I am interested in the multi-temporality of the photographic medium, and the potential of the darkroom itself as a site of performance or spectro-poetics– a way of conjuring the ghosts that haunt a life.“ (Tarrah Krajnak, 2022)

Tarrah Krajnak is an artist working across photography, performance, and poetry. Krajnak was born in Lima, Peru in 1979. Krajnak is the recipient of the Jury Prize of the Louis Roederer Discovery Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles, and a Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from the Center for Documentary Studies. Her book El Jardín De Senderos Que Se Bifurcan was shortlisted for the Aperture/Paris Photo First Book Award in 2021 and named to MoMA’s inaugural list of ten photo books of the year. 

Krajnak has exhibited widely at Honor Fraser Gallery, Houston Center for Photography, SUR Biennial Los Angeles, Filter Photo Chicago, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Center for Photography Woodstock, SF Camerawork, Philadelphia Photographic Arts Center, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Belfast Photography Festival, Unseen Amsterdam, Les Rencontres d’Arles and Landskrona Foto Festival. Her photographs are held in numerous collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Museum Ludwig, Cologne and the Pinault. Her work has been published and reviewed in Aperture, Artforum, New York Review of Books, and Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles among others. Krajnak’s work is supported by a Howard Foundation Fellowship and a Lewis Baltz Research Fund Award. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Oregon, and an artist-in-residence with Unseen California. She currently lives/works between Eugene, OR and Los Angeles, CA.

“Tarrah Krajnak’s work makes clear reference to the history of photography, on the one hand, and to the artist’s identity as a Latin-American woman, on the other. A sequel to her first critical homage to Ansel Adams, her latest series Master Rituals II: Weston‘s Nudes is dedicated to another North American “master”, Edward Weston. Krajnak here re-enacts the famous Nudes (shot starting in 1927, and published as a unified work in 1977). She takes the place of models Bertha Wardell and Charis Wilson, reproducing their poses—but also depicts herself as author of the photographs, a remote shutter release in hand. Restoring to the picture what Weston left outside the frame–portions of the model’s body and in particular, her face, whose obliteration tends to make us forget the identity of the two women and participation in the creative process– or emphasizing Weston’s framing choices—what he excluded—using simple wooden panels, Krajnak replays a significant chapter in the history of photography while re-focusing on the role of the female model. Further, she challenges the female stereotypes created and propagated by photography: a white ideal, shaped by male tutelary figures. Through this performative and photographic act, Krajnak affirms her Latin-American identity and her body of color. She creates through her presence and the gesture of image reconstruction a dialogue with her predecessor, Weston, as well as with her contemporary viewers.“ (Sonia Voss, Curatorial Statement for the Les Rencontres Arles Discovery Award Exhibition)

Biography

Born 1979 in Lima, Peru

Lives and works between Eugene and Los Angeles, USA

Education

2004

MFA, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA

2001

BFA, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH, USA

Teaching

2022

Assistant Professor of Art, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, USA

2020 – 2021

Director, Munroe Center for Social Inquiry: Photography & Racial Justice. Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, USA

2013 – 2021

Assistant Professor of Art, Art Field Group, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, USA

2016 – 2017

Director, Mellon Art + Environment Grant. Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, USA

2006 – 2011

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art. Art Department, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA

2005 – 2006

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art. Art Department, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA

2004 – 2005

Lecturer. Art Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

Grants / Awards

2024

Guggenheim Fellowship, Photography

2022

George and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA

2021

Lewis Baltz Research Fund Award #5, Paris, France

Shortlisted for the Paris Photo–APERTURE Foundation PhotoBook Award (with the book “El Jardín de Senderos Que Se Bifurcan”)

Hariban Award Grand Prize, Kyoto, Japan

Named one of MoMA’s Favorite Photobooks of 2021 (selected by Clément Cheroux)

Louis Roederer Arles Discovery Award Jury Prize, Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France

Madame Figaro Women in Photography Award (Nominated/Shortlisted), Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France

Silver List, Silvereye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

2020

Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize, Center for Documentary Studies, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA

2018

Emerging Artist Grant, Harpo Foundation, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Unseen Dummy Award (Second Place), Amsterdam, Netherlands

2019

Photo London, La Fabrica Book Dummy Award Shortlist, Madrid, Spain

2017

National Photography Award, Texas Photographic Society, Houston, TX, USA

2011

Artist Grant, Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix, AZ, USA

2010

Artist Grant, Vermont Council for the Arts, Burlington, VT, USA

2008

Artist Grant, Vermont Community Foundation, Burlington, VT, USA

Women in the Arts Grant, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, USA

Residencies

2023

Artist in Residence, Benrido with Master collotype printer Yamamoto-San, Kyoto, Japan (as Hariban Award Recipient)

2021 – 2023

Unseen California. Artist Residency Cohort: Mercedes Dorame, Tarrah Krajnak, Dione Lee, Aspen Mays. Curated by Karolina Karlic, UCSC Natural Reserves Research Lab, Santa Cruz, CA, USA

2021

Light Work A-I-R, Light Work, Syracuse, NY, USA

Darkroom Artist in Residence, Aurora Photo Center, Indianapolis, IN, USA

2011

Artist in Residence, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE, USA

Artist in Residence, Ohio Arts Council Exchange, Dresden, Germany

2008

Woodstock A-I-R, Center for Photography Woodstock, Woodstock, NY, USA

Solo Exhibitions

2024

Tarrah Krajnak SAINT LAURENT Rive Droite store, Paris, France

Mask & Mirrors, Zander Galerie Paris, Paris, Frane

2023 – 2024

Tarrah Krajnak. Shadowings, a Catalogue of Attitudes for Estranged Daughters, Huis Marseille, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2023

Tarrah Krajnak. Rock, Paper, Sun, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany

2022

Tarrah Krajnak. RePose / REDCAT: Studio 2022 / 631 W 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2020

Tarrah Krajnak. El Jardín de Senderos Que Se Bifurcan, Filter Photo, Chicago, IL, USA

1979 Contact Negatives, Lux Art Institute, San Diego, CA, USA

2019

Tarrah Krajnak. 1979 Contact Negatives, as-is gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2018

Tarrah Krajnak. Origin Stories, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX, USA

Tarrah Krajnak. Sismos79, Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts, Lubbock, TX, USA

Tarrah Krajnak. Sismos79, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

2017

Tarrah Krajnak. Kloes, Mowry Center Gallery, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH, USA

2015

Tarrah Krajnak. 1979, Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books, Portland, OR, USA

Tarrah Krajnak. Sismos79, Riley Photography Gallery, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN, USA

2013

Tarrah Krajnak. South Sound, Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books, Portland, OR, USA

2011

Tarrah Krajnak. The Stairs That Do Not Care, Gehe8, Dresden, Germany

2010

Tarrah Krajnak. After Chambi, Firehouse Center, Burlington, VT, USA

Tarrah & Wilka Collaborative Works, Depauw University, Greencastle, IN, USA

2009

Tarrah Krajnak. Submission, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, NY, USA

Tarrah Krajnak. Anthology of Trends, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY, USA

2008

Tarrah Krajnak. (untitled #), Elmira College, Elmira, NY, USA

Tarrah Krajnak. (untitled #), Julian Scott Gallery, Johnson State College, Johnson, VT, USA

Recent Photographs by Tarrah Krajnak, SEABA Gallery, Burlington, VT, USA

2007

Tarrah Krajnak. Spitting Image, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA, USA

Tarrah Krajnak. (untitled #), Hartell Gallery, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA

2006

Tarrah Krajnak. The Invisible Face, Colburn Gallery, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT, USA

Upcoming

2024

PACING: Photographs by Dru Donovan, Melanie Flood and Tarrah Krajnak, Schneider Museum of Art/Oregon Center for the Arts, University of Southern Oregon, Ashland, OR

Group Exhibitions

Artists, Constellations, and Connections: Feminist Futures, Jordan Schnitzler Museum of Art, Eugene, Oregon, USA

You Belong Here: Place, People, & Purpose in Latinx Photography, Frost Art Museum, Miami, USA

It Moves Forward Always, Kleefeld Museum of Contemporary Art, California, USA

Messengers, Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech, VA, USA

2023 – 2024

Body to Body: Photographic Stories, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

Opening Exhibition of the Centre of Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

CHRONORAMA. Photographiques Treasures of the 20th Century, Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection, Venice, Italy

2023

You Belong Here: Place, People, and Purpose in Latinx Photography, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, USA

You Belong Here: Place, People, and Purpose in Latinx Photography, Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey, USA

The Rose, Lumber Room, Portland, Oregon, USA

Image/Counterimage: VALIE EXPORT, Sanja Iveković, Tarrah Krajnak, Ana Mendieta, Carrie Mae Weems, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany

Dismantling Monoliths, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA, USA

Photo Brussels Festival, Hangar Photo Art Center, Brussels, Belgium

Field Notes from Unseen California, Punumbra Foundation, New York, USA

2022 – 2023

Refracting Histories, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago, IL, USA

2022

Books Revisited, Center for Book Arts, New York, NY, USA

Regards de Femmes, Fondation A, Brussels, Belgium

Landkrona Foto Festival, Landskrona, Sweden

2021

Louis Roederer Arles Discovery Award Exhibition, Rencontres d’Arles, Arles, France

Self-Portrait as Weston/as Bertha Wardell, 1927/2020, from Master Rituals II: Weston’s Nudes, Rencontres d’Arles & SNCF Gares & Connexions, Gare De Lyon & Gare d’Avignon, Paris & Avignon, France

It’s Negative, MIM gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2020

Future Perfect, Study Hall Gallery, Pratt, Utica, NY, USA

Below the Surface, California State University, Channel Islands, Camarillo, CA, USA

2019

In This Body of Mine, Frederick Layton Gallery, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Milwaukee, WI, USA

El Jardín de Senderos Que Se Bifurcan (Photobook), Belfast Photo Festival, Belfast, Northern Ireland

El Jardín de Senderos Que Se Bifurcan (Photobook), PhotoEspaña, Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid, Spain

2018

El Jardín de Senderos Que Se Bifurcan (Photobook), Unseen Amsterdam Book Fair, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Conceptual Feedback, Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Biomythography: Reflexive Remix, University of Laverne Harris Gallery, La Verne, CA, USA

2017

Displaced: Reconstituted Memories & Unsituated Bodies, SUR Biennial, Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA, USA

Ansel’s the Making of 40 Photographs, Hammer Museum, Video Screening, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Past, Present, Future, Silver Eye Center for Photography, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Sismos, PGH Photo Fair, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

2016

On the Shelf, Filter Photo Festival, Chicago, IL, USA

This is Collage, haphazard, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Found, Candela Gallery, Richmond, VA, USA

At Home in the World, 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM, USA

Dark Messengers, Central Features, Albuquerque, NM, USA

2015

Radical Color, Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR, USA

2014

Sismos79, with metropcs gallery, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, FL, USA

Eternal Om, metropcs gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Cast, Philadelphia Photographic Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA

South Sound, with Ampersand Gallery, LA Art Book Fair, Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, CA, USA

2013

South Sound, with Ampersand Gallery, NY Art Book Fair, PS1 MOMA, Long Island City, NY, USA

Fatal Strategies with Cynthia Reeves Gallery, Art13, London, UK

2011

Fatal Strategies, Cynthia Reeves Gallery, Art Basel Miami Beach, Miami, FL, USA

Suite42Projects, Cynthia Reeves Gallery, Art Market San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA

2010

Photography V, Center For Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, NY, USA

Heart Abortion, Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH, USA

Heart Abortion, Canzani Center, Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH, USA

Heart Abortion, Live Performance, Oakland University Art Gallery, Rochester, MI, USA

Rehearse, Rewind, Repeat: Photography, Performance, Video, Ohio University, Athens, OH, USA

2009

Contemporary Photography and the Archive, CUNY Staten Island, New York, NY, USA

Askew: Contemporary Portraits, 215 Gallery, Burlington, VT, USA

2008

The Body as Image, Philoctetes Center, New York, NY, USA

Women to Watch, Chaffee Art Center, Rutland, VT, USA

Women to Watch, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, USA

2007

From Sun Pictures to Megapixels, Williamsburg Historical Art Center, Williamsburg, NY, USA

Selected Works: ND Photography Program, International Photo Festival, Pingyao, China

2006

Breaking Ground, Lightwell Gallery, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA

Technology of Meaning, Herron Gallery, Herron School of Art & Design, Indianapolis, IN, USA

2005

Inclinations, Elmira College, Elmira, NY, USA

2004

New Visions, W Hotels Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA

Wonderland, W Hotels Gallery, New York, NY, USA

First Look: Juried by Cindy Sherman & Adam Fuss, Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, NY, USA

Curatorial Projects

2021

The Careful Photograph: Mercedes Dorame, Aaron Turner, William Camargo, Rafael Soldi, Lorena Molina, Sama Alshaibi, Nydia Blas, Zora J Murff, Tommy Kha, Public Lecture Series & Podcast Season featuring BIPOC Contemporary Photographers Exploring Race & Identity, Munroe Center for Social Inquiry on Racial Justice, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, USA

2019

Latinx Photographers from LA to the Inland Empire: Tamara Cedre, Rodrigo Venezuela, Guadalupe Rosales, Public Lecture Series, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, USA

2016

Unsettled Landscapes Symposium: Lucy Lippard, Edgar Heap of Birds, Natalia Diaz, Nanobah Becker, Gabriel Estrada, Laura Huertas Millan, Claudia Arteaga, Esteban Cabeza De Baca, Kathy Bancroft, Saskia Calderón, Public Symposium funded by the Mellon Foundation Grant, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, USA

Disappearing Grandmothers: Marathon Reading, Women’s Day Teach-Out, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, USA

2015 – 2017

Library Artist in Residence Initiative (LAIR): LA based artist Steve Rowell (2015) and Ecuadorian artist Saskia Calderón (2016), Claremont Consortium Honnold-Mudd Library, Claremont, CA, USA

2015

Ecopoetics: Rafa Esparza & Aspen Mays, Workshop & Public Exhibition, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA, USA

Publications

2023

Tarrah Krajnak. RePose, Fw:Books

2022

Tarrah Krajnak. Master Rituals II: Weston’s Nudes, TBW Books

2021

Tarrah Krajnak. El Jardín de Senderos Que Se Bifurcan, DAIS Books (shortlisted for the Aperture Paris Photo First Book Award 2021)

2019

Tarrah Krajnak. 1979: Contact Negatives (artist book)

Public Collections

Fondation A Stichting, Brussels, Belgium

Centre George Pompidou, Paris, France

Pinault Collection, Paris, France

Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany

Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK

Museum of Modern Art Library, New York, NY, USA

Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, CA, USA

Cerritos College Permanent Collection, Norwalk, CA, USA

Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE, USA

Center for Photography, Woodstock, NY, USA

Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz, NY, USA

Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH, USA

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, USA

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