Zora J Murff & Rana Young

Rana Young and Zora J Murff are artists and educators based in Fayetteville, AR; both earned their MFA in Studio Art at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Their collaborative work has been been exhibited nationally, as well as published online by Hyperallergic, Huffington Post, and British Journal of Photography. In 2017, their work was selected for feature by Jon Feinstein for Aint-Bad’s Issue No. 12: Curator’s Choice. As collaborators, they were named winners of LensCulture’s 2017 Emerging Talent Awards. Recently, Young and Murff spoke about their work on the panel, ”The Myths and Realities of Artistic Collaborations,” with David Johnson (artist) and Philip Matthews (poet) at the Society for Photographic Education 2019 National Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently, they’re both teaching in the School of Art at the University of Arkansas.

Fade Like a Sigh

Conversation often begins with a question much in the same way art-making does. Words possess the potential to better know one another; the visual possesses knowledge to understand constructs both abstract and concrete, past and present. Each endeavor is a call in search of a response, but the response from the visual becomes more obscure as what we see creates a gap between what we do know and what we think we know.

Together, Zora J Murff and Rana Young began mining their own family histories, exploring the void left by an absent parent. The images in Fade Like a Sigh reflects their dialogues of this shared experience. Using their personal small collections of family photographs and reinterpreting them through their own contemporary imagery, Murff and Young highlight the complicated relationship between photographic record and the fragmented and abstract nature of memory.

To view more of Zora J Murff & Rana Young’s work please visit their website.