Lyle Ashton Harris' Selections from the Ektachrome Archive 1986–1996 is a snapshot from 1986–1996, chronicling the moments—now memories—of this charged decade. This selection features over one hundred images taken by Harris from his extensive archive of Ektachrome photographs. Harris captures creatives and intellectuals including Nan Goldin, Samuel R Delaney, Stuart Hall, Essex Hemphill, bell hooks, Isaac Julien, Catherine Opie and Marlon Riggs among others in both intimate settings as well as now-historic events such as the Black Popular Culture Conference (1991), the opening for the Whitney’s landmark Black Male exhibition (1994), and his travels from New York to London and Los Angeles to Rome. In Selections from the Ektachrome Archive 1986–1996, bedroom scenes and personal mementos punctuate public presentations and social gatherings, as a register of Harris' life during the height of the AIDS crisis and its impact. Moreover, this archive takes the temperature of America’s recent past and charts its radical epistemological shifts.
Commissioned in 2014 as part of ALTERNATE ENDINGS, a program of seven videos that bring together charged moments and memories from their personal perspective amidst the public history of HIV/AIDS.
About the artist
Lyle Ashton Harris has cultivated a diverse artistic practice ranging from photographic media, collage, installation and performance. His work explores intersections between the personal and the political, examining the impact of ethnicity, gender and desire on the contemporary social and cultural dynamic. Known for his self-portraits and use of pop culture icons (such as Billie Holiday and Michael Jackson), Harris teases the viewers’ perceptions and expectations, resignifying cultural cursors and recalibrating the familiar with the extraordinary. His work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and the 52nd Venice Biennale. His work has been acquired by major international museums, most recently by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His commissioned work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times Magazine and the New Yorker. In 2014 Harris joined the board of trustees at the American Academy in Rome and was named the 10th recipient of the David C. Driskell Prize by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Born in New York City, Harris spent his formative years in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. He received his Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Wesleyan University in 1988 and a Masters in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts in 1990. He currently lives and works in New York City and is an Associate Professor at New York University.