Stacy J. Platt uses photography to speak about vulnerability, memory, loss and the mundane experiences of life. Influenced by the writing of Marguerite Duras, the multivalent work of artists such as William Kentridge, Danh Voh, and the Provoke and post-Provoke era of Japanese photography, Stacy’s work is characterized by an interest in exploring the multiple—and sometimes unreliable—versions of self and personal history that we all contain, as well as the contradictory threads of collective identity that serve to both constrain and connect us to one another.
She received her B.A. in Humanities from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and her M.F.A. in Photography from Columbia College of Art in Chicago. Her work has been shown at the Houston Center for Photography, the Midwest Center for Photography, the University of North Dakota’s Memory, Bone and Myth exhibit, many online curated projects and exhibitions, and she was a 2015 Critical Mass finalist. Stacy presently teaches photography at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and also is the editor for the Society of Photographic Education’s flagship publication, Exposure. She has been composing longform essays on photography since 2004.
Platt’s statement about the work in this exhibition, featuring her series #exvangelical:
I was raised in a family of evangelical fundamentalists who were living in Colorado Springs at the same moment that James Dobson founded Focus on the Family, whose dogma figured prominently into my upbringing. Their subsequent indoctrination and religious fervor created a stranglehold on my life and experiences that cannot be understated. Decades later, I have unexpectedly found myself living in Colorado Springs again—which has since become an evangelical mecca—and in a current political moment whose very origins, I contend, can be traced to this place.
I am photographing all of the physical structures that house Christian church services within the city limits—there are nearly 400 of them. Taking the notion of typology as point of departure, I am subverting its conventional meaning for the purposes of investigating what feelings these spaces evoke for those who left them. Upending any notions of sanctuary, I have found them instead to be those that encourage senses of alienation, bewilderment, fear and the uncanny.
Of equal and vital importance to this project is finding, speaking with and archiving the stories of those who, like myself, were raised in markedly religious Christian households whose tenets they then rejected as adults. As I continue to be involved with this community and identifying with our similarly traumatic and frankly bizarre stories of collective upbringing, I recognize that the importance of these accounts being shared serves as an in-roads for the rest of our society to understand the context of our current political moment, and how it affects those harmed or otherwise influenced by policies driven by fundamentalist evangelicalism. The story of the #exvangelical is the story of the end of a way of life, but it is also an account of the fall of what we’ve collectively recognized as The American Dream.
See the work of Stacy Platt and her fellow UCCS VAPA Faculty at TIME at GOCA Ent Center for the Arts (5225 N Nevada Ave) starting January 31st and running through May 12th.
Stacy Platt will give a free artist talk on April 5th along with exhibition artists Carol Dass, Jessica Langley, and Ben Kinsley. Register HERE.