Kelli Connell: Double Life

Floating, 2005; from the series Double Life (c) Kelli Connell

These two women seen above floating in a pool–this never actually happened. Kelli Connell, whose work as Leo Costello claims, “falls within a tradition of Surrealist photography… [giving] form to the multifaceted, dynamic unconscious,” digitally manipulates her images to combine multiple exposures. She uses what is commonly thought of as an objective tool to create what she has instead termed “constructed realities.”

Her series Double Life (on view at Photo-eye Gallery through June 30, 2012) in which she employs this technique, “documents” the evolving relationship between two women (one model). In addition to exploring the visual rhetoric of digital imagery, the work is an investigation of and a kind of metaphor for the fluidity and instability of identity, sexuality, and gender roles.

“By digitally creating a photograph that is a composite of multiple negatives of the same model in one setting,” Connell writes in an artist’s statement, “the self is exposed as not a solidified being in reality, but as a representation of social and interior investigations that happen within the mind.”

This solo exhibition has previously been on view at Yossi Milo Gallery in 2007, and Catherine Edelman Gallery in 2011. That same year, Decode Books also published the Double Life monograph, which is reviewed here by Time Out Chicago and was featured as one of American Photo magazine’s Books of the Year.

A limited-edition print from that series, Floating, 2005, is available for purchase from Aperture. The image also appears in Connell’s volume of the sold out tripartite series MP3: Midwest Photographers Publication Project (Aperture 2006).

Additionally,  Connell’s work has appeared in Photo Art: Photography in the 21st Century (Aperture 2008) and The New York Times Magazine Photographs (Aperture 2011).

Prior to the show, check out a transcribed conversation between Connell and American portrait photographer Dawoud Bey on the subject of Double Life at Flak Photo.

Kelli Connell: Double Life
Exhibition on view:
June 1 – June 30, 2012

photo-eye Gallery
376 Garcia Street
Santa Fe, New Mexico
(800) 227-6941