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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Friday Evening Guest Speaker: Lyle Ashton Harris

Archiving Absence and Desire (sponsored by PhotoVideoEDU / MAC Group)

Friday, March 11 - 5:30PM to 7:00PM
Summerlin Ballroom

Delving into hundreds of Ektachrome images taken by Lyle Ashton Harris in the 1990’s, one discovers the material intersection of three communities on the verge of landmark shifts: the Black community, the queer community, and the arts community. In examining these records, which contain equal parts youthful escapade and rare documentation of significant cultural events, an undiscovered and increasingly pressing narrative begins to emerge: that the anxieties and issues illustrated by the subjects of the archive still remain. In the decades since these images were recorded many of the archive’s subjects have risen to mainstream recognition (such as bell hooks, Isaac Julian, and Cornel West), yet the present racial crisis in the U.S. indicates the continued necessity to constantly reexamine and re-imagine this country’s narrative of ‘progress’. The extensive Ektachrome Archive provides images absent from history, and begins to address a desire, a necessity, to interweave the experiences of the personal with the collective narrative of history.


Lyle Ashton Harris
Lyle Ashton Harris


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