Artist Answers ‘Who is Positioned to Survive?’ through Photography

(Image by Dionne Lee)

Through the use of photography, collage, and video Dionne Lee explores power, survival, and personal history in relation to the American landscape. Understanding American soil as a site of trauma, Lee looks to larger historical narratives, such as the unfulfilled post-Civil War promise of 40 acres and a mule to newly freed Black people, as a touchstone for understanding how history acts as a system that determines the autonomy and resilience of people across time. Lee’s work considers the complications and dual legacies that exist within photographic representations of the American landscape that is often presented as a space of peak contentment and peace, despite being steeped in trauma and violence.

These works mostly pre-date the pandemic. Initially, this work, Lee describes, was a way to grapple with the repercussions of climate change and natural disasters of the elements: wind, fire, water, earth. All of which felt more immediate after the artist moved to California at the height of a historic drought and experienced the yearly wildfires of Northern California. An important question for Lee is: who is best positioned to survive? 

Lee received her MFA from California College of the Arts in 2017. She has exhibited work at the Museum of Modern Art, Aperture Foundation, the school of the International Center of Photography in New York City, and throughout the Bay Area including Aggregate Space, Interface gallery, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. 

Dionne Lee: A Muscle Memory

Exhibition Dates: July 14 – September 19, 2021

Dionne Lee Artist Talk:  September 2, 2021, at 5:30 PM

Gregory Allicar Museum of Art Hours: WED-SAT 10 – 6 PM

Address: Colorado State University, 1400 Remington St, Fort Collins, CO 80524


Support Northern Colorado Journalism

Show your support for North Forty News by helping us produce more content. It's a kind and simple gesture that will help us continue to bring more content to you.

BONUS - Donors get a link in their receipt to sign up for our once-per-week instant text messaging alert. Get your e-copy of North Forty News the moment it is released!

Click to Donate