Used to Know Me Now
Teena Lee Ryan
Opening: Friday, March 22, 5-8pm
Closing: Friday, April 5, 5-8pm
My maternal family is from Appalachia. I am the third generation to be named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Not only was the double ‘e’ in my first name inspired by the general, but my middle name as well. Changing my name would be a meaningless gesture, rather I demolish, rewrite and reimagine my personal narrative, in the hope I can construct my own legends. I explore ritual, creation, destruction, fiction, the fallibility of memory and the transformation of identity. Through my work, I believe it is possible to originate and uphold my own story.
Ritual, creation, destruction, and transformation are utilized to uncover my present self. I use these tools to conceive and fabricate my own story. A story that will exist as my legend, in the way I deem honest. What these works all share is an exploration of the embodiment of knowledge and experience. Most of the work is a ritualistic exploration of the ways that embodiment, which physicality weighs on the soul, is digested and lost, is ripped asunder, is a skeleton that harms as much as it helps. I make artifacts as ritual offerings to reclaim myself.
Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar
Used to Know Me Now by Teena Lee Ryan is a UNM MFA Photo thesis exhibition and the first of two exhibitions in 2019 that is part of Sanitary Tortilla Factory’s Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar (EVAS) series. The Exceptional Visual Artist Scholar series offers professional space for the culminating exhibition that defines the student’s launch into their profession as an artist. The series hopes to underscore exceptional artists attending regional institutions while highlighting Albuquerque’s historic connection to contemporary art practice.