This image was created by scanning and manipulating two or more negatives in Adobe Photoshop. Using the computer as a tool to create a ìbelievableî situation is not far from our acceptance of any photograph as an object of truth, or by creating a story about two people seen laughing, making-out, or quarrelling in a restaurant. These photographs reconstruct the private relationships that I have experienced personally, witnessed in public, or watched on television. The events portrayed in these photographs look believable, yet have never occurred. By digitally creating a photograph that is a composite of multiple negatives of the same model in one setting, the self is exposed as not a solidified being in reality, but as a representation of social and interior investigations that happen in the mind.
This work represents an autobiographical questioning of sexuality and gender roles that shape the identity of the self in intimate relationships. Polarities of identity such as the masculine and feminine psyche, the irrational and rational self, the exterior and interior self, and the motivated and resigned self are portrayed. With the same model appearing twice in the photograph, the dualities of the self are defined by body language and clothing worn. The work is a representation of the duality or multiplicity of the self in regards to decisions about intimate relationships, family, belief systems, and lifestyles. Through these images the audience is presented with ìconstructed realitiesî. I am interested in not only what the subject matter says about myself, but also what the viewers response to these images says about their own identities and social constructs.
Kelli Connell (Chicago, IL) received her Masters of Fine Arts in Photography with a minor in Art History from Texas Womanís University in 2003. Since then she has had solo shows at a variety of locations across the United States, including, Gallery 339 (Philadelphia, PA), Paul Kopeikin Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Catherine Edelman Gallery (Chicago, IL), and Yossi Milo Gallery (NYC) among others. Her work has also been featured in group shows at Photographic Center Northwest (Seattle, WA), Riverside Fine Arts Center (Riverside, IL), Haggerty Museum of Art (Milwaukee, WI), and The Cleveland Institute of Art (Cleveland, OH). Kelliís work is in the permanent collections of Microsoft, Light Work, Los Angeles County Art Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of Contemporary Art, The Haggerty Museum of Art and the Dallas Museum of Art. Her monograph Kelli Connell: Double Life was published by DECODE Books in Fall 2011. Her work has also been published in MP3: Midwest Photographersí Publication Project (Aperture and the Museum of Contemporary Photography, 2006), Vitamin Ph: New Perspectives in Photography (Phaidon, 2006) and Photo Art: Photography in the 21st Century (Aperture, 2007) Kelli is also the recipient of various awards and fellowships including an Individual Artist Support Project Grant in 2011, Illinois Arts Council Photography Fellowship, in 2009, Cadre Arts Grant for Visual Studies in 2007 and Top 50 Photographers in 2005. Kelli was also an artist-in-residence at Light Work in 2008 and Southside on Lamar in the summer of 2004. She is represented by the Catherine Edelman Gallery in Chicago, IL, the Weinstein Gallery in Minneapolis, MN, and Gallery 339 in Philadelphia, PA.