“The symbol of the unicorn and the myth of the American West are equally clichéd. Both have been drained of meaning through overuse— the unicorn through kitsch and the West through romanticized narratives of cowboys and the Wild West. The complexities of the history of the land are eclipsed by its photogenic beauty, which has been captured repeatedly by both amateur and professional image makers in service of the idyllic. Like the unicorn, the exoticism of the American West is something to be coveted, captured, displayed, and idealized. Both are imaginary products of desire. Much like the construction of myth of the West, the unicorn and its promise of virginal reward is only a horse with a horn.” — Millee Tibbs
Millee Tibbs’ (b. 1976) work derives from her interest in photography’s ubiquity in contemporary culture and the tension between its truth-value and inherent manipulation of reality. Her photographs often address the fabrication of an ideal of the American landscape. By disrupting the photographic image through physical interventions (folding, cutting, and sewing), her work responds to the miniaturization and domestication of land through photography. Tibbs resides in Detroit, MI and holds an MFA in photography from RISD. She has exhibited throughout the U.S. and abroad, participated in a fellowship at The MacDowell Colony and has held artist residencies at the Wassaic Project and the Santa Fe Art Institute.
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