Christina Fernandez book
March 27, 2024

Book based on UCR Arts exhibition wins four awards

The monograph “Christina Fernandez: Multiple Exposures" wins ALAA-Thoma Foundation, IPPY awards

J.D. Mathes
Author: J.D. Mathes
March 27, 2024

Christina Fernandez’s monograph “Christina Fernandez: Multiple Exposures,”  produced in conjunction with her 2022-2023 exhibition of the same name at UCR Arts California Museum of Photography, or CMP, has been awarded the Association for Latin American Art, or ALAA, ALAA-Thoma Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award.

The book, co-produced by UCR’s Joanna Szupinska, senior curator at the CMP at UCR ARTS and UCLA Distinguished Professor Chon Noriega, former director of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center, or CRSC, has also received three other awards – two from the International Latino Book Awards – a silver medal for Best Art Books category, 2023 and a bronze medal, Best Cover category. The fourth award is a bronze medal in the photography category from the 2023 Independent Publisher Book Awards, or IPPY Awards.

“The IPPY is an especially competitive one for independent publishers, a category that includes museum and university presses,” Noriega said.

The ALAA-Thoma Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award Committee released a statement on Fernandez’s monograph.

"In choosing ‘Christina Fernandez: Multiple Exposures’ as the winner of the ALAA-Thoma Foundation Exhibition Catalogue Award, the selection committee was struck by its significant contributions to our understanding of this important artist and their relationship to several key categories of art historical and cultural analysis: photography, film, portraiture, landscape, identification, and representation (visual and political), among others, the committee’s statement read.

“The essays — by a distinguished group of scholars and curators, several working between Latinx and Latin American art — help us understand specific bodies of Fernandez’s work as well as her longer aesthetic, intellectual and professional trajectory. The committee was also impressed by the catalogue’s beauty as a book. The illustrations, of which there are many, are of high quality and generously scaled. They allow academic readers to trace Fernandez’s career as well as employ these images as a step toward integrating to teaching and further scholarship. Indeed, the reproduction of three interviews of Fernandez at various junctures in her career, serves an important historiographic function.”

The monograph is separated into six sections, including  “María’s Great Expedition” 1995–1996; “Untitled Multiple Exposures” 1999; “Manuela S-T-I-T-C-H-E-D” 1996–2000; “Lavanderia” 2002–2003; “Sereno” 2006–2010, and “American Trailer” 2018.

The volume features original essays by diverse scholars including Cecilia Fajardo-Hill, Julian Myers, Chon Noriega, Sally Stein, Joanna Szupinska, and Roberto Tejada. Additionally, excerpts from interviews with the artist conducted by Tejada, Szupinska, and Susanna Temkin ensure the artist’s voice is included. The book was edited by CSRC’s Rebecca Epstein and designed by HvADesign, New York.

Szupinska said the book is a product of Noriega’s Chicano Studies experience and her experience in photography curation.

“Organized for the exhibition, it is an exhibition catalogue, but it can stand alone. While she’s been in other catalogues for group exhibitions, this is her first monograph,” Szupinska said of Fernandez.

Szupinska said Fernandez worked with her to create an “authoritative reference for posterity.”

“She’s been shaped by the Chicano Movement of her parents and by post-modern aesthetic discourses. When she studied at UCLA and Cal Arts she began to think of photography in conceptual terms,” Szupinska said. “In group shows, usually one of these impulses gets emphasized. We wanted the monograph to show off both things and how they are in conversation and don’t cancel each other out. Together, they make for a unique, complex artistic practice.”

“This is foremost a recognition of the artist, and then to get this ALAA award for best book of the year by people who study that field is such an honor for us,” Szupinska said. “Now the book is being taught to undergraduate and graduate students at UCR, UCLA, USC, and Princeton University. It’s gratifying that this book is having that kind of impact.”

The exhibition, “Christina Fernandez: Multiple Exposures,” is currently showing at the Princeton University Art Museum from Feb. 10–April 28, 2024. From there it will move to the San José Museum of Art in San José, Cal., from June 7–Sept. 22, 2024, and ending at the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago from March 20–August 3, 2025.

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