In Negatives Preserved, Stephanie Land (b.1978) follows America’s story of segregation through her family’s history of land, alongside the creation of America’s suburbs, and her own birth and upbringing in Midwestern sundown towns in Wisconsin and Illinois.
The use of photography, mapping, sculpture, and the archive, allows Land to swing between the micro and macro, and ask how one white family’s homeownership affects Black and brown families in a country whose laws and policies continue to be inherently racist.
The point of departure begins with the archival photographs of her great-great-grandfather, JC Land, who was born in Grand Island, New York, in the mid 1800’s and moved to Waukesha, Wisconsin in the 1870’s. Stephanie traveled to Waukesha in 2021, to learn more about her first generation German-American ancestor and to unpack how a traveling portrait photographer, within the first few years of his arrival, managed to secure a brick and mortar photo studio along with three other buildings, including a large house on Main Street.
Through the experience of walking while documenting with photography and video, Stephanie retraced the steps of her great-great-grandfather, visiting site specific locations in Waukesha while uncovering his archive in the Waukesha County Museum Research Center.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Stephanie Land received a BA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and an MA in Fine Art Printmaking from the Royal College of Art in London. Land’s work has been featured in exhibitions and publications throughout the US and UK. She has received an Illinois Arts Council Grant and an award from the Illinois Chapter of The National Museum of Women in the Arts. In 2017 she was an Artist in Residence of Process Space, a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council studio residency on Governors Island. In 2019 she was a featured artist in “The Whiteness Issue” of The Racial Imaginary Institute. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Learn more at stephanielandstudio.com
The activities of the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance are made possible in part by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support from the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.