Zora Murff: States Project: Iowa
I met Zora Murff in 2013 when he showed up for my first Advanced Photography class at the University of Iowa. He began his Corrections project during this class, and I’ve always been impressed not only with the work but with his devotion to growing the series conceptually over the past two years. His more recent work deals with a more personal family narrative, but shows the same devotion to his subject matter, as well as keen awareness for creating a narrative thread.
Zora J Murff is an MFA candidate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Zora graduated from The University of Iowa with a BA in Photography and holds a BS in Psychology from Iowa State University. Collocating his education in human services and art, Zora’s photography focuses on the experiences of youth in the juvenile justice system and the role images play in the correctional system. His work has been exhibited nationally, internationally, and featured extensively online including the British Journal of Photography and Wired Magazine’s Raw File. His work has also been published in PDN’s Emerging Photographer Magazine and Splash & Grab Magazine. Zora was named a LensCulture 2015 Top 50 Emerging Talent, a 2014 Photolucida Critical Mass finals, and is a part of the Midwest Photographers Project through the Museum of Contemporary Photography. He is also a member of Strange Fire Collective, an artist collective formed by Hamidah Glasgow, Rafael Soldi, and headed by Jess T. Dugan. Zora will be publishing his first monograph, Corrections, through Aint-Bad Editions scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2015.
Untitled Works (2015-Ongoing)
When my grandmother passed, my mom told me, “We are next in line.” Her words forced me to consider my experiences with my family growing up, and how removed I often feel from those who should be closest to me. The women in my family have known violence at the hands of the men who were supposed to love them unconditionally; broken homes possibly sourced from scars of war, being black during the Jim Crow era, and substance abuse. Beginning to make this work, mostly sourced from personal memories, was a way for me to start revisiting my family’s past to see how it might be deterministic of who I will become.
Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.