Brian Piper, Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator spoke with with photographer Dionne Lee. Lee’s work is featured in New Photography: Create, Collect, Compile. The exhibition presents the work of four photographers, all of whom work with, and critique, these new practices in photography.
Unified by their understanding of the photograph as an ambiguous messenger, each of these artists creates, collects, or compiles photographs to trace narratives about identity, community, and power. These narratives are then presented in forms that invite us to consider the relationship between photographs and the spaces in which they are taken or viewed. Collectively, they assert that photography, as it currently exists, is a kind of open-source language.
Dionne Lee (American, b. 1988) combines images taken from sources that include sailing and wilderness manuals with images of her own making to create works that ask what type of body gets to occupy or possess the landscape, and who will be given the resources and knowledge to survive it.