If Everybody’s Work Is Equally Important (I) and If Everybody’s Work Is Equally Important (II) by renowned artist LaToya Ruby Frazier were produced through the Printshop’s Publishing Residency Program in 2016.
These prints are based on a December 2010 performance titled If Everybody’s Work is Equally Important, which took place in front of the Levi’s Photo Workshop storefront in SoHo, New York City. In her performance, she enacted and commemorated the arduous movements of the steel mill workers of Braddok, PA, where Levi’s staged a backdrop of their “Go Forth” commercial. As a native of the town, Frazier grew up witnessing the deterioration of the town since the steel industry’s collapse in the 1980s, and how Braddok became a symbol of de-industrialization, economic stagnation, and environmental pollution. Her performance comments on the irony of how the media and gigantic corporations romanticized the town and its residents.
Still photographs that documented the performance were carefully selected for the two sets of cyanotypes. Cyanotype, once used to make architectural plans, highlights the idea of rebuilding and growth.