Rima Canaan Lee: Patterned
RIMA CANAAN LEE
January 11- February 15,2014
PATTERNED features photographs from the Alcazar in Seville, the Alhambra in Granada, and the Mosque-Cathedral in Cordoba. Spain is famous for Mud6jar-style architecture, buildings that reflect Christian, Muslim, and Jewish influences, and that, in their very appearance speak of their patterned history. Lee photographed actual patterns, often mosaics, and focused on a checkering conferred not by religion but by the mere passage of time-weathering and decay encroaching on perfect patterns; brilliant colors accentuated by the beige of chipped clay; carefully configured tiles that have become misaligned over the centuries.
"For me, each photograph is a poem or a short story. Just as the written word yields or resists yielding a narrative, a photograph communicates a story or history. However, while a linguistic text unfolds as it is read, through time, the photograph communicates almost instantaneously. I am interested in how the photograph relies on the simultaneity of vision versus the sequentiality of language to construct meaning. ln particular, how do seemingly conflicting aspects of an image, whether juxtapositions of form or color or contrasts in subject matter or actual depictions of wear and tear, breathe life into a photograph and multiply its meaning? How do photographs reflect visually rather than verbally our psyche in all of its messiness and contradictions? I am always sensitive to and on the lookout for the fissures that speak to me and that promise to deliver a multilayered narrative."
Rima Canaan Lee was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and grew up in Hamburg, Germany. She received a B.A. in English and American Literature from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Yale University, and credits her obsession with photography to her study of literature. The artist now lives in Fort Worth, Texas.