Nikki S. Lee’s ‘Projects’ (2011) saw her transform herself into members of different social and ethnic groups where she explores the way photographs represent our relationships with other people.
Fig 1. Hip hop, Hispanic and Seniors
In the above images from Lee’s projects you can see that she the extent of the transformations and her ability to infiltrate different ethnic groups and seamlessly fit in. What’s interesting is how she’s chosen to use snapshots, even including the date on the photographs to backup the validity of the ‘snapshot’ theme. Also it’s important to note that Lee doesn’t physically take the photograph herself, this is done by a member of the group who doesn’t have any photographic experience.
Lee herself has never claimed to be a photographer but explains that she uses photographs as her medium for her projects.
‘Just because I use the photographic medium, that does not mean I am a photographer. I am not talking about a hierarchy between photography and art. I can be a photographer or an artist, whatever really. I use photography now but that does not mean I will forever…….’
Nikki S. Lee
(Bright, S. 2010:41)
Bright, S. (2010) Art Photography Now. London: Thames and Hudson