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Honors Thesis Exhibition: Luek Collins, Pretexts for my Iridescence
March 28 @ 8:00 am - April 1 @ 5:00 pm
John and June Allcott Gallery
My work over the last four years has been influenced by ideas of familial fragmentation, the disintegration of identity, and emotional disembowelment through means of experimental photographic and printmaking processes. As an artist and poet, I am devoted to an interdisciplinary practice that dissects my own personhood and ultimately cultivates physical and emotional spaces for my interior to reside in. My life as a child, adolescent, and now burgeoning adult has been circumscribed by feelings of discomfort, both within my body and outside of it—my work exists as a plane through which I search for the sense of comfort that has continued to elude me. Both my visual and written works attempt to find balance between the transparency of silence and the iridescence of beauty. My narrative is one of quietness and my work stands as a sort of atonement for the pain inflicted upon my loved ones and onto my past selves. It is a reconciliation, a reclamation—an understanding.
With this work, I am investigating definitions of family and identity through image, material, and medium. I take our family portraits and manipulate them into almost unrecognizable and haunting photographs, questioning the role imagery takes within the context of family. In these images, their subjects are whittled down to mere silhouettes or ghosts. Whether it is through this digitally manipulated family portraiture, physically altered polaroid images, stuffed objects and ulterior bodies made of fabric cyanotype prints, or traditional 35mm photographs of fragmented spaces, I am interested in finding where these forms and their contexts cross.
My process as an image-maker is driven through experimentation. I am intrigued by antique photographic techniques and histories for their abilities to transform and transcend time as well as the opportunities they present for manipulation and reframing within a more contemporary sensibility. Inherent to this process is the merging of these historical and photographic languages/narratives with my own in order to recontextualize my place in this world as a queer person. These processes ultimately fulfill my urge to dismantle how the male body has been presented throughout time. I honor the softness within my own male identity while preserving and critiquing the male ideations of the past. Each image is a vignette; a preserved glimpse into some aspect or portion of my life–infused with a sense of time passing–in stillness. I am underscoring the role my childhood has in my understanding of myself and how it has come to haunt me and my perception of the world.
Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm
Artist website: https://luekcollins.com/
Image credit: Courtesy of the artist