Jessica Buie’s conceptual photography practice is rooted in re-contextualizing the visual and textual languages that make up dominant narratives of desire, gender, and the body. She utilizes methods of collage, appropriation, and studio photography to scrutinize photography’s supposed objectivity. She considers public image-space, such as advertising, bookforms, and found material as places to experiment with established roles of subject and object and the mainstays of power that dictate these two roles. She views these acts of collecting, archiving, and re-structuring as parallel to the queer experience.
The work’s materiality is informed by commercial and advertising imagery, photography how-to manuals, pulp novels, and subjective material from the artist’s own camera and writings. In visualizing an alternative history of female subjectivity, Buie’s work questions the lines between objectification and representation.
Books are frequently used as objects of reference in Buie’s work, both in content and form. Her works often appear as deconstructed books and reflect the way in which texts are used as identity totems and spaces where non-traditional desires or appearances can exist as something between public and private information. With a particular interest in dyke culture, Buie’s recent lines of inquiry engage with the culture and production of lesbian pulp novels from the 1950's. The resulting works are reassessments of these common, disposable objects and the most common themes found in them: bodies of women found in lakes, and the impending death, imprisonment, or return to heteronormativity of the queer-leaning women who populate these stories.
Through gestures such as re-imagining illustrated pulp novel covers with subjective material, Buie attempts to wrench control from the dominant visual narratives describing female masculinity and queer desire. The resulting images act as a meditation on her own relationships between herself, her camera, her subjects, and the public images and language of desire.
Other Voices Other Rooms, 2019, archival inkjet print, 17x22” in
Dial “P” For Pleasure, 2019, archival inkjet print, 17x22” in
Techniques of Photographing Women, 2018, archival inkjet print, 24x72” in
The Secrets of Photographing Women, 2018, archival inkjet print, 24x72” in