This past Saturday, a new exhibition opened at the Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles. The exhibition is titled, Found, where 4 artists use old and new photographic techniques and from storybook narratives, discarded texts, family & vernacular photographs and scenarios of dual aspects of a person’s identity, these artists have found a new way of looking at the world and their lives.
One of those artists is Liz Steketee. Liz is a Bay Area photographer, having recieved her BFA from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She’s worked for that last decade as an editorial and fine art photographer and teacher. She has exhibited widely around the globe and in the U.S.
The work featured below is from her project, Reconstructed Memories. Liz recombines images to create new memories, which for the viewer is a fascinating window into a personal history, without ever knowing the reality.
Reconstructed Memories is a unique print series that uses my personal family photographs to rewrite history from my vantage point. By choosing unrelated images and digitally manipulating them into unlikely combinations, I build new memories. I forge new relationships, address old confrontations, imagine different experiences, and face old demons.
I disrupt linear narratives and recompose events, establishing my family history as a construct. Once these new snapshots have been finalized digitally, they are printed, aged and weathered according to their appropriate time period. This rebuilding of memory has allowed me to establish my own version of reality, as I prefer it. Reconstructed Memories takes the form of a unique print series as well as a series of reconstructed “false” family photo albums that adhere to my revisionist history.
It is through photography that I interpret and understand the world. I use my life as material for my work. By doing this, I am able to explore the conflicts that exist within the everyday and the richness that is found in the mundane.
Through the use of montage, collage, and purposeful juxtaposition of images, it is my intention to present the “truth” of my life. I alter, chop, merge and recompose photographic elements. This process allows me to represent a moment, a memory or life’s reality as I see it. I disrupt linear structures and confuse elements of time to convey my notions of how life truly exists; a combination of independent moments that converge to leave us with a unique experience.
I often use the panoramic construction to explore these ideas, playing upon its historical use as illustration of epic scenery. I am interested in the epic scenery of the everyday, the joy, the agony, and the irony of life’s experiences. It is my belief that memory and experience change from person to person, as well as changing through the passage of time. It is as though each of us is the author of our own lives, creating our own experience. My work addresses the veracity of memory and reality in an attempt to question what we accept as true.
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Thesis Project: Leah SchretenthalerMay 5th, 2020