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2024 Annual Conference

St. Louis

March 21-23, 2024

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Leah Dyjak & Kalee Appleton - The Material Landscape: Failure and Fantasy

Panel Discussion

Saturday, October 06 - 9:00AM to 9:45PM
301 Design Building

Leah Dyjak's Force Majeure is centered on the failures of trusted and known strata. The work features deconstructed photographs that speak to the ways in which familiar landscapes have been mangled and erased by the force of water. Materials ubiquitous in function, such as asphalt and road lines, were once meant to guide and create order. In this work, weather has caused them to become futile in function and ultimately broken. Likewise, the edges and surface of the photographs are distorted through cutting, scanning and reconstructing. This work portrays the limits of the photographic frame and camera lens to capture the visual negative space, fault lines, and things we cannot see but which erase boundaries and barriers. By reconstructing photographic imagery into new compositions, Dyjak attempts to exert control over spaces where we have none.

Kalee Appleton's recent work explores the photographic backdrop as photographic subject. Using the same backdrops employed by mainstream photography studios, she investigates the objectivity of photographs themselves. These commercially-produced backdrops exist as large scale photographs of idealized landscapes and utopian worlds. Like many photographs throughout history, these objects force viewers to question truth and contemplate the mechanical nature of photography, as these backdrops exist as false contextual objects in the aid of transporting a sitter to an idealized world. These backdrops are made the focal point within seemingly traditional, idealized landscapes in both photographic prints and video by being installed in a real-world landscape, creating a contrasting relationship between reality and perceived reality.


Kalee Appleton
Kalee Appleton
Leah  Dyjak
Leah Dyjak

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