19 - Jenny Fine—Exploring White Identity in the Rural South through Photography and Performance / by Vivian Liddell

 Jenny Fine and Vivian Liddell outside the Wiregrass Museum of Art

Jenny Fine and Vivian Liddell outside the Wiregrass Museum of Art

Peachy Keen met up with artist Jenny Fine in the upstairs classroom of the Wiregrass Museum in Dothan, Alabama on a hot Friday afternoon in early October.

We discussed the influence that many strong creative women have had on her career—most notably that of her grandmothers (who both play an important role in her work) and of Ann Hamilton (a world-renowned installation artist who Fine studied under and then later apprenticed).

Fine elaborates on how her interest in the wet-collodion process and post-mortem photography is related to her “Flat Granny” series—which references the “Flat Daddy” photographic cutouts used by military families to help maintain a presence at home for deployed loved ones. We also get the lowdown on her performances and current stop motion film (link below) as they relate to her family history and her still photography.

In our talk, Fine explains how her personal narratives have allowed her to enter a larger discussion about white identity in the rural South, and we tiptoe into the minefield of racially charged regional iconography and customs depicted in her work that include the boll weevil, peanuts, and the pageantry of local parades and clogging.

  Daddy Dancing with Flat Granny , 2013, archival pigment print, by Jenny Fine.

Daddy Dancing with Flat Granny, 2013, archival pigment print, by Jenny Fine.

 Exterior of the cyclorama, 2017, Performance No. 6, Stephen Smith Fine Arts, Fairfield/Birmingham, Ala. by Jenny Fine.

Exterior of the cyclorama, 2017, Performance No. 6, Stephen Smith Fine Arts, Fairfield/Birmingham, Ala. by Jenny Fine.

Related Links:

Jenny Fine, Link to In Unison Stop Motion Video, Wiregrass Museum of Art, Hurricane Michael Donations, Ann Hamilton, Amy Powell, Honoring the Legacy of Gay Burke, Wet Plate Collodion Workshop with France and Mark Osterman, Wingate Fellowship at The Center for Craft Creativity & Design, Flat Daddies, UAB Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts, Smith & Lens

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