DIANE MEYER | LOS ANGELES CA, USA
Diane Meyer received a BFA in Photography from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts in 1999 and an MFA in Visual Arts from The University of California, San Diego in 2002. She has been living in Los Angeles since 2005 where she is an Associate Professor of Photography at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester; the 18th Street Art Center, Santa Monica; AIR Gallery, NYC and The Society for Contemporary Photography, Kansas City; SPARC, South Pasadena; as well as numerous group shows in the United States and abroad including at the George Eastman Museum, Rochester, the Robert Mann Gallery, NYC; Regina Anzenberger Gallery, Vienna, Austria; Klompching Gallery, NYC; The Brattleboro Museum of Art, VT; ABC Treehouse, Amsterdam; Fototropia, Guatemala City; Schneider Gallery, Chicago; Field Projects, NYC; China House, Penang, Malaysia; Galerie Huit, Arles, France; Project 42, Alkmaar, The Netherlands; The Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY; The Helsinki Biennale, Finland; CUE Art Foundation, NYC; NEXT Art Fair, Chicago; Field Projects, New York; The Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins; The Urban Institute of Contemporary Art, Grand Rapids; The Seaport Cultural Center, NYC; Cuchifritos Gallery, NYC; Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, NYC; Lennox Contemporary, Toronto; Rotunda Gallery, NYC; Jen Bekman Gallery, NYC; Spaces Gallery, Cleveland; Jessica Murray Projects, NYC; Arthouse, Austin; and the Holter Museum of Art, Helena.
What is your work about?
For the past several years, I have been working on a series of hand embroidered photographs following the entire 104 mile circumference of the Berlin Wall. Sections of the image have been obscured by crossstitch embroidery sewn directly into the photograph. The embroidery is made to resemble pixels and borrows the visual language of digital imaging in an analog, handmade process. In addition to the physical aspects that point to the former division of the city, I was interested in the psychological weight of these sites and the ways in which past history remains very much in the present.
In many images, the embroidered sections represent the exact scale and location of the former Wall offering a pixelated view of what lies behind. In this way, the embroidery appears as a translucent trace in the landscape of something that no longer exists but is a weight on history and memory. Often the embroidered sections of the image run along the horizon line forming an unnatural separation that blocks the viewer. This aspect of the sewing emphasizes the unnatural boundaries created by the wall itself. By having the embroidery take the form of digital pixels, I am making a connection between forgetting and digital file corruption. I am interested in the porous nature of memory as well the means by which photography transforms history into nostalgic objects that obscure objective understandings of the past.
How does photographing on film (or using your material photographic process of predilection) inform your artistic practice?
Despite the rise of digital imagine, I have remained committed to working with film. This project was shot using a medium format film camera. I very much appreciate the delay that comes between the moment the photograph is taken and seeing the image. I am interested in the unexpected and the element of chance and improvisation that comes from not being able to see the photograph in the moment. I also find that film forces me to slow down and be more discerning about what I am shooting. My recent body of work consisting of hand-embroidered photographs came about as a reaction to digital imaging. I began to feel increasingly disconnected from my work when interacting with it on a monitor and really wanted to return to a tactile and process based practice.