The Appearance of Things represents nearly ten years of work by photographer Jocelyn Lee and encompasses still life, portrait and landscape photographs, as well as many images that fuse these genres. This mingling is partly what the work is about: creating a shift in perspective where a body (portrait) becomes a landscape, a still life becomes a portrait, and a landscape becomes a body. Throughout her work, Jocelyn Lee poignantly captures beauty and humanity’s fragile nature. Her images of the natural and constructed world explore the sensuality and materiality of the environments against which life’s events continually unfold.
A Jocelyn Lee photograph… is true to the mysteries of our lives… What is this flesh, anyway?! Are we “spirits” “in” bodies? We are bodies – something unexplained, unknown, and kept secret. We are reminded here that our bodies are nothing to be proud of, or ashamed of… Jocelyn Lee welcomes us to contemplate the secrets hidden in plain sight. — Sharon Olds
The Appearance of Things explores how we are enmeshed in an embodied and ephemeral world. All life, including our human form and being, passes through stages of birth, blossoming and death. Life occupies environments – it makes itself at home, and enacts an arc of existence on this stage, be it a pond, a forest or a suburban home. Each image strives to celebrate a multitude of sensual bodies: animals, plants, and human beings. In many ways, the photographs are cabinets of wonder, echoing nineteenth century natural science’s fascination with the diversity of life. Printed at large scale, the photographs beckon the viewer to a cinematic immersion in the image. The installation of the work as triptychs and diptychs juxtapose various bodies and divergent earthly environments and shift scale significantly across the images. The works are meant to engage the body of the viewer and become galaxies of their own through the use of space and the dilation and contraction of scale.
Jocelyn Lee – The Appearance of Things
June 16 – October 14, 2018
Center for Maine Contemporary Art
21 Winter Street, Rockland, Maine 04841