He tells stories that reveal both a profound humanity and the inexorable passing of time. The Hermès Foundation and Aperture Foundation are pleased to present the exhibition In Good Time, the first mid-career survey of DuBois’ photographs, curated by Cory Jacobs. This retrospective contains three different bodies of work: All the Days and Nights, Avella, and My Last Day at Seventeen.
Family is a recurring theme in DuBois’ work, and his first project on the subject, All the Days and Nights, took over twenty years to complete. In 1984, DuBois began photographing his own family, tracing the complicated and nuanced relationships that unfolded as time passed and events transpired, such as his father’s near-fatal accident, subsequent recovery, and the impact on his family.
For his series Avella, DuBois spent years photographing the residents of an old coal-mining town in Pennsylvania where his grandmother had lived. He collected her stories and made a portrait of the inhabitants of an American town past its prime.
In his most recent series, My Last Day at Seventeen, DuBois traveled to Cobh, Ireland, where he was an artist-in-residence at the Sirius Arts Centre. What started as a month-long residency turned into a five-year project for DuBois, who was fascinated by the complex connections between the teenagers in the insular neighborhood of Russell Heights. He began photographing them, and earned their trust, in order to tell a coming-of-age story about the delicate moment between childhood and adulthood, filled with both confidence and uncertainty.
Some of DuBois’ photographs are candid; most often he orchestrates scenes, engaging the narrative languages of cinema and literature to give access to the truth and complexity of lived experience.