Kerrigan Campbell art + projects is pleased to present “In America,” a two-person show exploring aspects of American identity as perceived by two artists born into other cultures. Our perception of the world is formed by a set of beliefs, accumulated over many years. In the media age these beliefs are filtered first through the mainstream media; movies, television, radio and now the internet. Over the last half century American popular culture has become the dominant cultural source worldwide. For Korean-born Haejae Lee and Swiss-born Sandra Nydegger the American West as portrayed by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies and TV shows like Bonanza typified their image of the quintessential “American” culture because of the influence in their of youth of U.S.-exported mass media.
Although both artists now live in New York, for Nydegger the rodeo circuit still represents the “other” America and for Lee the classic Western log cabin home has become a dominant motif in her exploration of the psychological meanings of home.
The concept of my work is based on the conceptual and psychological meanings of home....The great American homes of the West draw me in particular because they seem to manifest a longing for a perfect and absolute home...Does the quintessential American room welcome a viewer, or do familiar elements become strange or disconnected? What is the difference between the home in our hearts and the physical space it fills? Ultimately, the goal of my project is to reexamine this postulated space and reconsider what we know and what we believe about it.
Haejae Lee has been a Premiere Portfolio Artist at absolutearts.com since 2001. View more of her art at: http://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/h/haejaelee/
Living in New York City, I have always been attracted to the "other" America, the one reminiscent of Westerns I watched on television while growing up in Switzerland. In this series I do not aim to document glory, but the primal undercurrent that connects humans to other animals.
Traveling from the Bronx, to Vermont and South New Jersey, I became fascinated with the violent nature of rodeos. I use a low-tech camera with no zoom lens, so every shot is seen at the distance of the naked eye. This forces me to get as close to the arena and bullpen as possible. In the blur of the action shot, animals and humans become symbols of a brief and frenzied battle between those trying to dominate and the forces of resistance.
19 x 19 inches
Price: US$ 2,000