Alanna Fields: Mirages of Dreams Past
May 5 - June 9
Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York is pleased to present Mirages of Dreams Past by lens-based mixed media artist, archivist, and 2020 Workspace Resident Alanna Fields. On view May 5 through June 9, 2021, the exhibition is comprised of a new series of large-scale mixed-media collages exploring the representation of Black queer desire, sensuality, leisure, and memory.
For the works in Mirages of Dreams Past—Fields’s first solo exhibition—the artist draws upon an eclectic range of vernacular photographs of Black queer people dating from the 1960s to the 1970s. Reframing this found archive using a kaleidoscopic technique, Fields repeats and layers a single image to both reconstruct the way we process images and push beyond the constructs of nostalgia and memory. Through the use of wax, she applies different levels of transparency to each figure: they emerge and dissolve, slipping in and out of view, in constant stages of revealing and concealing what can’t be accessed in real time.
The pieces in Mirages of Dreams Past build upon Fields’s acclaimed recent series “Audacity” (2019-20) and “As We Were” (2019), in which wax served as a means to seal and memorialize Black queer life and visually address how it has historically been obscured and concealed. In the new works, however, the wax begins to frame rather than conceal: nature, vibrant interiors, and images of home come into focus.
“The past is always with us as we carry our histories in our bodies,” says Fields. “It holds a richness that we must engage in order to understand and unpack our collective memories, grapple with the present, and imagine the future. Reflecting upon intimate moments of solitude, freedom and desire, these works traverse through a boundless black queer dream space that amplifies, echoes and reverberates back to the viewer, bringing memory into focus.”
Alanna Fields asks the viewer to look more deeply and closely at tender and quiet moments and to reflect upon memory, intimacy, and vulnerability. Working to create a new archive, the artist explores dreaming and dream spaces as a means of venturing through memory, piercing the historical record’s veil and shining a light on what was hiding in plain sight.
Alanna Fields (b. 1990, Upper Marlboro, MD) is a lens-based mixed media artist and archivist whose work investigates and challenges representations of Black queer identity and history through the lens of photography. Fields’ work has been featured in exhibitions including Felix Art Fair, LA, UNTITLED Art Fair, Miami, MoCADA, and Pratt Institute. Fields is a Gordon Parks Foundation Scholar, 2020 Light Work AIR and Baxter St. CCNY Workspace AIR. She received her MFA in Photography from Pratt Institute and has given talks at the Aperture Foundation, Stanford University, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Parsons New School, and Syracuse University. Fields lives and works in New York City.
Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York supports emerging lens-based artists at critical moments of their careers. Founded in 1884, Baxter St is one of New York’s oldest artist-run nonprofit spaces and has long been a catalyst for innovative creation within the artistic mediums of photography and video practices. Through exhibitions, workspace residency programs, and conversation series, Baxter St is a hub for a vibrant community deeply engaged in the art of lens-based contemporary practices.
Image: Alanna Fields, from the series Mirages of Dreams Past, 2021
Baxter St at CCNY
126 Baxter St. New York, NY 10013
Open Tues-Sat 12-6
Summer Hours: Closed July 3rd, August 7-11