Nikki S. Lee
Monday, 23 March 2009
Work from the series Parts. As promised, more work that deals with the medium of photography and photographic seeing.
Statement courtesy of the Numark Gallerey, where you can see more of Lee’s works.
“In Parts, the artist departs from the snapshot depictions of cultural identity for which she has become internationally known to explore how more intimate relationships affect personal identity. As in her previous work, Lee appears in each photograph, which is shot by someone else. Now, however, she carefully stages narrative scenes in which she appears with other performers, typically male companions, who she subsequently cuts out of the picture. The viewer is left to guess the parts that are missing — the identity of the missing person and the missing holes of the narrative story. Although Lee is recognizable in each image, she appears slightly different, emphasizing the artist’s interest in the fluidity of identity and the role of personal relationships in one’s sense of self.
The artist’s act of cutting the image posits not only a post-Romantic quality of absence in this body of work, but also makes overt the inherent decision making process of the photographer. Every photographer in composing an image is making a choice of what to include or exclude in her shot. Parts , by physically cutting out one side of the image and face mounting the resulting print, showing only three borders around the image, makes these choices part of the subject of the work. “