J. K. Lavin
December 6 – March 3, 2019
Reception December 6, 2018 7-8:30 PM
Gallery talk on December 6th with J. K. Lavin and Linda Troeller at 6:15 PM
In February 1979 I began taking Polaroid SX70 self-portraits on a daily basis to explore the idea of time as connected to a lunar month, but also to find a way to stay grounded as much of my life was imploding. Months turned into years and I continued the daily documentation of self for eight years, until November 1987.
Spontaneously deciding when and where to take the photo, arbitrarily choosing which exposure and focus to use, allowed me to incorporate elements of randomness and chance in my creative process.Additional self-imposed guidelines prescribed that the camera was always handheld and only one image a day could be created, regardless of the outcome. I was searching for the intuitive. My interest in the moon began when I wanted to present the Polaroids using a standard measure of time and I chose a variation of a lunar month.
The Polaroid series was a visual journal waiting to be decrypted as if I was looking into a mirror, seeking to understand who I was, who I was becoming, and attempting to make sense of life experiences out of my control. As we all know, the camera never lies, and now revisiting this extensive self-documentation I begin to understand what is revealed.
Women throughout history have found journals a sympathetic medium. I was looking to define myself at a time when the feminist revolution had already won many new freedoms and choices for women. I realize now that I was exploring the politics of identity–and not just gender identity– and deciphering who I was in relation to photography. The reconsideration of this project, now with the patina of time, allows for a deeper understanding of self and a legacy of the Polaroid medium that can never be replicated. – J.K. Lavin
J. K. Lavin is a fine art photographer living and working in Venice, California. Recurring themes in her work are memory, self-portraiture and marking the passage of time. Duration is an important dimension of her practice, as well as experimentation with randomness and chance.
After moving to Los Angeles, J. K. Lavin received a Master’s Degree of Art in Photography from California State University at Fullerton, CA. She also studied photography at The Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York and The Center of the Eye in Aspen, Colorado. Currently Crisis of Experience, photographs from her Polaroid SX70 self-portrait series, is on view as a solo exhibition at the Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA. Crisis of Experience have received several prestigious awards.
J. K. Lavin has had one-person exhibitions at Spot Photoworks, Los Angeles, CA and at Orange Coast College, Costa Mesa, CA. Recently her work has been exhibited at San Francisco Camerawork Gallery in San Francisco, SE Center for Photography in Greenville, SC, The Center for Fine Art Photography in CO, Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, OR, Building Bridges Art Exchange in Santa Monica, CA and Fotofever 2015 and 2017 in Paris, FR.