Know Me For the First Time
Blythe Projects is pleased to present Know Me For the First Time, our inaugural exhibition of photographic works by Los Angeles artist, Siri Kaur. In her most ambitious and personal body of work to date, Kaur continues her visual investigations into longing, desire, history, and memory, both private and public.
In a world beset by fear, war and the specter of ecological disaster, yearning for a safe haven has become part of everyday living. Kaur uses photography to suggest a poetic counter-world while acknowledging the abysmal and the uncanny lurking beneath the surface of utopian fantasies. Her images, originating in diverse locations including Iceland, New England, Alaska and Southern California, reveal an artistic practice that is deeply personal, yet universal, oscillating between anxiety and yearning for a better world. Kaur’s haunting, signature use of light betrays unexpressed desires lurking behind her subjects’ ruminative gazes, while the eerily perfect settings feel inhabited by a silent spirit. Her pictures present psychologically charged places and individuals whose emotional states teeter between despair and redemption. Other photographs remind us of a long forgotten secret confided to a friend.
Know Me For the First Time represents the artist’s stand against the relentless march of time, and an embrace of life’s beautiful and inescapably painful unfolding. Kaur’s photographs engage the Western canon—from the Baroque to photorealist painting, from German Romanticism to contemporary portraiture. Inspired by mysticism, spirituality, and the occult, Kaur weaves visual echoes from her past to create an evocative, dreamy universe uniquely her own in both its formal qualities and narrative themes.
Siri Kaur received her MFA in Photography from California Institute of the Arts in 2007, and an MA in Italian Studies (2001) and BA in Comparative Literature (1998) from Smith College. Kaur was the recipient of the Portland Museum of Art Biennial Purchase Prize in 2011. She has exhibited in numerous group exhibitions, including shows at the Torrance Museum of Art, California Institute of Technology, UCLA’s Wight Biennial and USC’s 3001 Gallery.