Dee Williams

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What Is My Work About? 

My work explores the relationship between photography and history. I use the camera as a tool for documenting the city of Los Angeles, (and other cities), and as a way to examine historical photographs and archives themselves.

 

Artist Statement

My work explores the relationship between photography and history in two main ways. One aim is to use the camera to document the city as it changes over time. The Los Angeles Streets series is a work using black and white film to depict the urban space of Los Angeles since the downturn of the economy in 2007. Billboards, signs, and posters reflecting social values are shown in shop windows, on parking lots, and around freeways. The silver gelatin photographs depict expansive, visually emphatic, and occasionally empty places in downtown and the suburbs.

The second main way I utilize history is to look at archives or historical photographs. I re-photographed archival documents pertaining to the Commercial Exchange Building on 8th and Olive Street in Los Angeles. It was altered in the 1930’s because of street widening due to increased auto traffic. I photographed the building in 2006 when it was empty and for sale. Included in the project are photographs I made in the Herald Examiner Photograph Collection and the Office of Building and Safety. The 13 story brick building had a 5 foot section cut and removed from the middle in response to pressure not to lose the commercially successful front section of the building while making room for traffic.

In 2011, I began a project to research the perimeter of the “Old” part of Salzburg, which is a World Heritage Site. The term “old” is intriguing because it signals a desire to preserve as well as to construct. Included in this portfolio is a diptych titled “Altstadt, Salzburg”, that shows a traffic mirror reflecting the view of the center of town designated as “old”. The second photograph enlarges the view of renovations to a building in the foreground.

The video I made in the Chaffey College photograph archive in Rancho Cucamonga, California was made by opening folders marked “Campus Life” and “Life Science-Biology”, and photographing the stacks of pictures as they are uncovered. The photographs show women and men in relation to fields of study, as well as the way photography moved from large format black and white film, to color photos printed at the drug store.

For The Berlin Street Signs project, I photographed streets named for scientists. These color photographs are paired with information about the scientist’s life from the Berlin Street Name Lexicon. I am fascinated by the way references to history are used to mark the geographic space of the city. The selection of street names reflects changing social and political states, as well as developing notions of the field of science itself.

 

 

CV

Education

2002
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA, MFA

2000-2002
Universität der Künste, Berlin Germany

1983
Hendrix College, Conway, AR, BA

 

Grants

2004
Durfee Foundation, Artist Resource for Completion Grant, Los Angeles

2000-2002
Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) Berlin, Germany

 

Solo Exhibitions

2007
Monte Vista Projects, Los Angeles, October 27-Nov 14
2006
ESL/Esthetics As a Second Language, Los Angeles, April 4

 

Group Exhibitions

2014
CalState LA, “Current Works: Faculty Exhibition“, Oct 27-Nov 15

2013
Cal Poly Pomona, “Carte de California: Contested Terrain“, Feb 9-March 23

2011
Salzburg Summer Academy, Hallein, Austria, “Salzburg is a group of buildings.“
Outpost for Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, “Mining the Archive; Ten Photographs from the 20th Century“, June 25-July 23

2010
Four Boxes Gallery, Krabbesholm Hojskole, Skive, Denmark,“Session_12_Words”, Nov 12-21

2009
Am Nuden Da, London, “Session_7_Words“, organized by Ginny Cook, KimSchoen, Adam Gibbons, Jesper List Thomsen, Lewis Ronald, Dec 4-6
Material Press, Los Angeles, “October 4 – October 14, 2008“, video, online photograph and text, Limited Editions, Sept www.materialpress.org
DNJ Gallery, Los Angeles, “Re-figurative Ordering“ June 27-Aug 29

2008
Sea and Space Explorations, Los Angeles, Nov 29-Dec 7

2007
Wignall Museum, Chaffey College, Ontario, CA, “The Girly Show; Pinups,
Zines and the So-Called Third Wave“, Oct 22-Nov 30
Gagosian Gallery, New York, “Beneath the Underdog“, group exhibition,

April 27-June 16
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA “Exquisite Acts and Everyday
Rebellions: 2007 CalArts Feminist Art Symposium & Exhibition“,

March 5-March 10
Asian/Pacific/American Institute of New York University “Exquisite Crisis and
Encounters”, in collaboration with Amy Bowen, Bia Gayotto, Haruko Tanaka, Feb 15-May 31

2006
The Physics Room, Christchurch, New Zealand, “Undoing what is riveted.
See river.” Fiona Jack and Dee Williams, Aug 23-Sept 16
Artists Space, New York, “When Artists Say We”, collaboration with Carla
Herrera-Prats, March 8-April 29

2005
Museo Nacional de los Ferrocarriles Mexicanos, Puebla, Mexico, “Cambio de Via”, collaboration with Carla Herrera-Prats, Nov 2005-April 2006

2004
Art2102, Los Angeles, CA, “East First Street”, with Carla Herrera-Prats

 

Dee Williams

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Group Exhibitions

2004
Galeria Central, Centro Nacional de Las Artes, La Esmeralda, Mexico City, “Diez anos de La Esmeralda en el CNART”, collaboration with Carla Herrera-Prats, September-October
University of California Riverside, Sweeney Art Gallery, “Remembering”,

Oct 1-Dec 11
Artists Space, New York, “Establishing Shot”, March 9-May 4

2003
Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA, “We’ve Moved”, Sept 13-Nov 16
2952 N. Beachwood Dr, Los Angeles, “Foliage”, May 11 Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA

2002
California Institute of the Arts, Gallery D301, Valencia, CA
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA , “Mid-Residency Show”,
“University Press Mission Statements”
Rocket Shop, Berlin, Germany “Exhaustion and Relief”, March 14-April 14

2001
Galerie für Gegenwartskunst, Barbara Classen-Schmal, Bremen, Germany “Ars Moralis-Timeo”

2000
Democratic National Convention Headquarters, Arco Building, Los
Angeles “The DNC Show”, May 20-August 4

 

Performance/Readings

2011
“Re-Opening“, “Material Press Mining the Archive“, Outpost for Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles, January 30

2010
“Reading Los Angeles Photographs“, Material: “The Oratorium”, as part of “Perform Now!” Mandarin Plaza, Chinatown, Los Angeles July 31
“A Partial History of Higher Education“, 18th StreetArts Center, Santa Monica, CA, May 13
“Soft Opening” Material Launch Issue 2, Redcat Lounge, Los Angeles Feb 14
“Closer 104.7”, 26 minute radio broadcast collaboration with Jeff Cain,
LACE, ( Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), broadcast during Los Angeles Contemporary Art Fair, Pacific Design Center, Jan. 30, 1p

 

Teaching experience

2014
Adjunct Faculty, California State University Los Angeles, Advanced Photography
2014
Lecturer, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, History of Photography

2013-2014
Lecturer, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, Imagining Los Angeles;
Photographing the City

2012
Lecturer, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, History of Photography and Photo 1

2011
Adjunct Faculty, Californis State University Long Beach, CA, Graduate Seminar;
Printmaking

2008-present
Adjunct Faculty, Chapman University, Orange, CA, Foundation Photography

2008
Adjunct Faculty, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA,
Contemporary Art: 1950 to Present

2005-07
Adjunct Faculty, USC, Roski School of Fine Arts, Los Angeles, Introduction to Photography

2005
Instructor, Current Art in LA, Spring Quarter, UCLA Extension

2004-09
Instructor, Exploring the LA Art Scene, UCLA Extension

 

Bibliography

2009
Schoen, Kim, “The Serial Attitude Redux”, X-TRA, Los Angeles, Winter Vol. 12, No. 2, p. 20-29

2007
Paynter, November, Gruijthuijsen, Krist, eds. “We All Laughed at Christopher Columbus”, Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam and Platform Garanti CAC, Instanbul, p. 211-235

2006
Williams, Dee, “Out of Order, Into the Archive”, Photofile, Sydney, Australia issue 78, p. 48-49.

2005
Mellado May, Lesly, “Toda la historia gráfica del ferrocarril mexicano será revisitada por artistas plásticos, La Jornada, Mexico, July 18, 2005.
Cordero, Claudia, “Continua “Cambio de Via”, Momento, Mexico, July 15
Durant, Sam, “Artists on Art in 2005“, Vogue Italia, February p. 342-343

2005
Moshayedi, Aram, “Remembering“, New York Arts Magazine,
March/April, 2005 online version

2004
Farrell, Jennifer, “Establishing Shot”, Exit Express, Madrid, May, p. 31
Hudson, Suzanne, “Establishing Shot“, Artforum, Sept 2004, p. 273
Rattemeyer, Christian, “Establishing Shot“, Artists Space, catalogue essay, p. 1.16-1.17
Schwendener, Martha, Establishing Shot, Time Out New York, April 15-22, Issue 446, p. 6

2002
Williams, Dee, “Mandrake“, Die Hausfrau 16/2000©Clonus Precox, Berlin

2001
Williams, Dee, “Wildes Berlin”, zitty 13/2001, Berlin, p. 52-53

 

Lectures/Panels

2014
Visiting Artist Lecture, UCLA department of design and Media

2013
Visiting Artist Lecture, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Visiting Artist Lecture, “Planning for History“, Cal Poly Pomona, Pomona, CA

2012
Visiting Artist, class of Ryan Taber, Cal State University Long Beach

2007
Visiting Artist Lecture, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

2006
Visiting Artist Lecture, University of California, Riverside

2004
Panelist, “Remembering”, University of California, Riverside
Panelist, “Establishing Shot”, Artists Space, New York

2001
Lecture, “Actual Surgery and Re-enactment: Four Daguerreotypes in Medical and Photographic Histories”, Hermann von Helmholtz-Zentrum für Kulturtechnik, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany