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Sister Rock, Rock that Tries to Forget, from the "Automatic Rocks/Excavation" series

  • Accession Number:
  • Artist:
    Krajnak, Tarrah
  • Date:
    2020; printed 2023
  • Medium:
    Gelatin silver print
  • Dimensions:
    diptych; frame: 20 in x 16 in, each
  • Credit Line:
    Museum purchase


About the Photographer

Krajnak, Tarrah

Peruvian, b. 1979

Tarrah Krajnak works in performance, video, poetry, installation, and photography to place the body into the materiality of the photograph, while also investigating her connections to the earth, ancestral histories, and creative practices of other women. In her Automatic Rocks/Excavation series, Krajnak pairs images of herself holding rocks with photographs of pages of her notebook where she practices the Surrealist method of automatic writing, or écriture automatique. She states: “The works are grounded in ecopoetic thinking and the desire to access embodied forms of knowledge through attention to the environment, to the body’s presence, and to the rhythms of daily life.”

In another series, Ayni, Offerings for my Sister, Krajnak uses photographic processes to convey time-based rituals. Ayni is a Quechau word for balance, and Krajnak arranges plant materials onto the photosensitive paper as offerings in a ceremony of gratitude and healing that she learned from her sister. Krajnak uses the cyanotype process to visualize the passage of time, the imprint of her own body, and the presence of her materials. As an additional act of gratitude, the titles additionally pay tribute to female artists who influence her practice.

Tarrah Krajnak received 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 photographs are held in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, England; Centre Pompidou, France; Museum Ludwig, Germany; and the Pinault, France. Her work was featured in the 2022-2023 MoCP exhibition, Refracting Histories.