Rana Young: The States Project: Nebraska
I first met Rana Young in 2014 when she moved to Lincoln to pursue her MFA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Upon meeting Young, it was easy to see that she possesses a deep well of personal experiences from which to draw. What I find most promising about Young’s potential is her treatment of the camera as an extension of her consciousness. Photography is revealing for her with ideas often coalescing after she’s photographed a subject. This allows her to avoid the trap of a pre-determined concept and the all-to-common photographic illustration. Instead, we get to see Young contemplating moments where the metaphor precedes the actual subject and an MFA candidate who is authentically honing her sensibility through the process.
Rana Young (b. 1983, Missouri) is an MFA candidate, Othmer Fellowship recipient, and Instructor of Record at the University of Nebraska‒Lincoln. Rana also serves as an on-call Exhibitions Technician and Installation Photographer for the Sheldon Museum of Art. She is a recipient of the Society for Photographic Education 2016 Innovations in Imaging Award and has been exhibited in group exhibitions in galleries such as Newspace Center for Photography and Midwest Center for Photography, as well as being included in public art projects such as Photolucida’s Then.Now.Here. Before returning to the Midwest to pursue her graduate studies, Rana spent six years living in Portland, Oregon. There, she earned her BFA from Portland State University, held gallery internship positions at Blue Sky Gallery/Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts & Black Box Gallery, and worked as a freelance photographer for Willamette Week. Her current work explores themes of intimacy, voyeurism, and transition within the home.
My previous partner and I were together six years, but you could say we grew apart romantically while we were growing up together. I began to question if he was masculine enough for me and started to project my femininity onto him, but the irony is that I have never felt particularly feminine. I was raised by my father and signifiers of femininity were not staples of my childhood. In the initial stages of making this work, my partner revealed his own inner struggles with gender identity, resulting in a mutual decision to end romantic involvement. We continue to live together and support one another, but have separated ourselves into different living quarters within our home’s communal living environment to better facilitate personal growth. Together we’ve learned that the context of a relationship can change, but our emotional intimacy doesn’t have to be sacrificed. These images are my reflections on the trajectory and circumstances within our relationship, past and present.
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Rana Young: The States Project: NebraskaMarch 20th, 2016
Larry Gawel: The States Project: NebraskaMarch 19th, 2016
Walker Pickering: The States Project: NebraskaMarch 18th, 2016
Shelley Fuller: The States Project: NebraskaMarch 17th, 2016
Jonnie Andersen: The States Project: NebraskaMarch 16th, 2016