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Archive of Lamentations

Deborah Luster, artist. In 1990, the National Gallery of Art launched an initiative to acquire the finest examples of the art of photography and to mount photography exhibitions of the highest quality, accompanied by scholarly publications and programs. In the years since, the Gallery’s collection of photographs has grown to nearly 15,000 works encompassing the history of the medium, from its beginnings in 1839 to the present, featuring in-depth holdings of work by many masters of the art form. Commemorating the 25th anniversary of this initiative, the Gallery presents the exhibition The Memory of Time: Contemporary Photographs at the National Gallery of Art, Acquired with the Alfred H. Moses and Fern M. Schad Fund. On view from May 3 through September 13, 2015, The Memory of Time explores the work of 26 contemporary artists who investigate the richness and complexity of photography’s relationship to time, memory, and history. For more than 20 years, artist Deborah Luster has been engaged in an ongoing investigation of violence and its consequences. In this lecture held on the exhibition’s closing day, Luster discusses the evolution of her work from One Big Self: Prisoners of Louisiana and Tooth for an Eye: A Chorography of Violence in Orleans Parish, as well as her current project at Louisiana’s Angola Prison.