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Zoe Strauss and her Philadelphia Party

Zoe Strauss, “Together We Make Dreams Come True,” Terre Haute, IN

It’s the month of Zoe Strauss at the PMA. Or should I say months? Her 10 Year retrospective is on view now and has received much critical acclaim. (I heard even Joe Biden took a break from his vice presidential duties to come see it.) She’s throwing dance parties in the museum and sitting for office hours to meet viewers. It all feels very Strauss-esque in the desire to make sure she hasn’t created too much of a distance between herself and those she photographs.

Strauss’ pictures of the country’s working class have been displayed in a whole host of ways, including underneath Interstate-95 and currently, in conjunction with the exhibition, in a series of billboards around Philadelphia. This is a lady who puts on no airs, and admits to being a die-hard fan of the Bruce.

In response to all this celebrating of sorts, I went and heard Zoe Strauss today at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It was all sort of happenstance : the talk was sold out, but the guard let me sneak in to a corner seat. Strauss was talking about Bruce Springsteen and his influence on her work. She tries to create photographs much in the same way that he creates music, exploring themes and linking them coherently. Images were to be lyrics in a career of many albums.

So come out for Zoe’s party, because it will be music, and it will be loud, and it will bring you to the street!

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