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Photography as Memoir

DuBois said he started the project as a book in 2003 during a residency at the MacDowell artists' colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire. The novelist Donald Antrim was there at the same time, writing a memoir about his mother, and out of their conversations he has furnished an introduction to the book that explains it as memoir -- for its authorial nature, its maker's intent to publish, its conception as one story, its very risk of "disturbing the structures that hold relationships in place" by what the private things it reveals.

"I wanted someone who would place the book in the practice of memoir," DuBois said. "Because it takes those liberties -- I cheat a little, there are gaps, there is editing. After all, there are just 62 images that span 25 years. The book has no captions, no dates, and you begin to -- I think, I hope -- invent a narrative about these people. The natural edit for ending the book was my parents' divorce."

DuBois said the first person he showed the book's first edit to was Light Work's Jeff Hoone. He set himself a deadline for finishing it by "calling MoMA and saying, 'I have a book' and they gave me a date and that was the deadline. Then I turned to John [Mannion, who heads digital imaging at Light Work] to make the book I too to show them."

DuBois read from the book's Afterword while showing a selection of images from the new book. He also showed images of newer projects. One was a series of images of young people at loose ends, often drinking, that DuBois worked on during a residency at the art center in Cork, Ireland. Another is the documentation of literally the first moment of arrival of a Somali family of refugees at Hancock Airport.

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