Exhibition: trip, 1993 - 1999
Dates: March 17 - May 5, 2018
Opening: Saturday, March 17, 4 – 6 pm
Higher Pictures is pleased to present trip, 1993 – 1999, Susan Lipper’s subversive contribution to the predominantly male tradition of American photographs made ‘on the road’. This is the first U.S. presentation of the series in its entirety and is Lipper’s second exhibition with the gallery.
The fifty black-and-white prints comprising trip suggest a slow, hallucinatory journey through small-town America. Lipper’s intentional use of black-and-white film and the road trip genre align her work with the giants of 20th century documentary photography, recalling images of America that have become part of this country’s historical memory. It is from this position within the documentary canon, and with a nod to feminist methodology, that Lipper tests its boundaries and enacts a series of performative subversions to call into question the distinction between record and construction. Taken more broadly, the dependent relationship between literacy—being able to read an image, text, or other sign and parse its authenticity—and social and political order is paramount in Lipper’s work. Mistranslated, incomplete, fabricated, contextless, or unintelligible text appears across the photographs in trip, by pointing to the devastating effects of words losing their meaning.
From behind the camera, Lipper assumes the persona of a woman photographer-traveler from the East Coast working in the present to interrogate images and mythology from the past. She and her alter-ego reveal themselves in coded self-portraits that call attention to the photographic document’s subjectivity. They are seen in the picture of a bewigged mannequin set in the woods; their presence is suggested by the word “motel,” scrawled in soap onto a bathroom mirror; and they are the women to whom a series of baby portraits appear, as unnerving reminders of a social imperative, or as sweet mementos of family life.
Positioned between her earlier project Grapevine, 1988 – 1992, and her most recent series Domesticated Land, 2012 – 2016, trip, 1993 – 1999 is the second installment of a threepart, thirty-year journey west across the United States.
Susan Lipper (b. 1953, New York City) received her MFA in photography from Yale University in 1983. Among the monographs published on her work are Grapevine (1994); trip (1999); Bed and Breakfast (2000); and the forthcoming Domesticated Land (2018), which will be published by MACK in April. Lipper’s work is held in numerous public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She is the recipient of numerous awards, among them fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1995) and New York Foundation for the Arts (2004) and, most recently, a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives and works in New York City. For more information please contact Kim Bourus at 212-249-6100.
For more information please contact Kim Bourus at 212-249-6100.