John D Freyer | Building Recovery Capital – Ep.112

“I say that as a person who shifted from being an artist/activist to someone who has really taken the activism part of my practice and my life and put it front and center.” John Freyer is an artist, activist, and Professor of Cross Disciplinary Media at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. We met up at the Society of Photographic Education conference in Houston shortly after his panel talk titled, We Want Our Pictures Back, with Arthur Fields, Graham MacIndoe, and John. They discussed their journeys through recovery and how that impacted their photographic practices, including the depiction of people with substance use disorder and the issues of consent. John Freyer is an artist, author and educator based in Richmond Virginia. His projects include All My Life for Sale, Big Boy, Live IKEA, Free Ice Water, and Free Hot Coffee Freyer is an Associate Professor of Cross Disciplinary Media at Virginia Commonwealth University. Freyer’s practice engages accidental audiences in galleries, museums, and public spaces. He explores the role of everyday, personal objects in our lives – as commodities, fetishes, and totems and investigates how the circulation of objects and stories enrich social ties between individuals and groups. He earned his B.A. from Hamilton College and M.A. & M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. His work has been reviewed in The New Yorker, The Sunday London Times, Artforum, Print Magazine and NBC’s The Today Show. Freyer is a Fulbright Scholar, a Macdowell Colony Fellow and was an Artist in Residence at Light Work and the Fannon Center, Doha, Qatar. Freyer has brought his social practice projects – Free Ice Water and Free Hot Coffee to the TEDx stage, has exhibited at Mixed Greens Gallery in New York, the Liverpool Biennial Fringe in Liverpool, UK and was a 2018 Tate Exchange Associate at Tate Modern, London.