Monday, January 18, 2016

Millee Tibbs

Millee Tibbs’ work derives from her interest in photography’s ubiquity in contemporary culture and the tension between its truth-value and inherent manipulation of reality. Tibbs’ exhibition venues include the Blue Sky Gallery – Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, Portland, OR; the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA; Mary Ryan Gallery, NYC, NY; David Weinberg Photography, Chicago, IL; the DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Licoln, MA; Brown University, Providence, RI; and Notre Dame University, IN. Her work has been published by the Humble Arts Foundation, Blue Sky Gallery, and Afterimage: The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism. Tibbs’ work is in the permanent collections of the RISD Museum, the Portland Art Museum, and Fidelity Investments, and is also held in the Midwestern Photography Project at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, and in the Pierogi 2000, Brooklyn flat file. She has been awarded residencies at the MacDowell Colony, VCCA, the Wurlitzer Foundation, Jentel, the Santa Fe Art Institute, and LPEP, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tibbs grew up in Alabama, completed an MFA at RISD in 2007, and is an assistant professor of photography at Wayne State University.

Artist Statement: Mountains + Valleys 

I am interested in surfaces and their relationship to what lies beneath – the discrepancy between what we see and what we know. I am drawn to photography because of its ubiquitous presence in our culture and its duplicitous existence as both an indexical representation of reality and a subjective construction of it. It is a slippery medium that easily shifts from scientific documentation of a moment in time to a subjective construction of reality. I am interested in the space where these qualities contradict each other and coexist simultaneously.

My current work focuses on the dichotomy between “landscape” (an intangible vista) and “place” (a tactile, inhabitable space). I am interested in the aesthetic framing of the landscape of the American West that perpetuates expansionist ideologies through the representation of unoccupied, and seemingly unoccupiable spaces. By disrupting the photographic image through physical interventions (folding, cutting, and sewing), my work responds to the limitations of the photographic illusion. Each image holds the tension between the expansive, inaccessible vista and the intimate, tactile experience of the photo-object.

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