Ten Years (Billboard Project - Philadelphia Museum of Art), 2012
Zoe Strauss is an autodidactic artist who describes herself as a lesbian anarchist from Philadelphia and is widely recognized as one of the most respected street photographers in the world. Her project is the production of images within the structure of an epic poem that can be read in both directions. It begins and ends at home, moving from the specific to the universal and back again. It begins and ends with determination and a ten year work plan that transformed an unused local space into an illegal exhibition that offered an honest portrait of human failures, triumphs and joy in an epic narrative, which forcefully brings forward the struggles and beauty of everyday life.
For 10 consecutive years, Strauss’s photographic work culminated in a yearly “Under I-95” show, which took place beneath the Interstate highway in South Philadelphia where she displayed her photographs on concrete pillars under the highway in an abandoned space that she and her wife (and later an increasing group of volunteers) scrubbed clean to welcome guests.