Surreal Histories presents artists whose photographs blur the boundaries of time and place. Encapsulated within an ephemeral narrative, these conceptually constructed photographs build upon stories of heritage and history, presenting a surreal perspective of familial legacy within a contemporary gaze. 

In her series of photographs, Kay Hickman reimagines the story of the Great Migration. Hickman recasts history and the depictions of her ancestors, people of strength and character, who survived the inhumanity of slavery with the perseverance to keep on going in the aftermath. These works represent the African Diaspora within the boundaries of America, the ability to travel to other parts of the country post-slavery for a better life.

Kay Hickman on her series, In Pursuit.

Jeremy Dennis’s photography explores indigenous identity, cultural assimilation, and the ancestral traditional practices of my tribe, the Shinnecock Indian Nation. The indigenous mythology that influences the work grants Dennis access to the minds of his ancestors, including the value they placed on our sacred lands. By outfitting and arranging models to depict those myths, the work strives to continue his ancestors’ tradition of storytelling and showcase the sanctity of their land.

Jeremy Dennis on his series, Stories.

Sandra Ayala presents a series of conceptual photographs dedicated to the dreamlike world of her son, known here as “The Boy.” Ayala creates a series of photographs that borrow from the Renaissance paintings’ formal elements of composition, perspective, light and tonal value. Her work signifies imagery where the elements of reality are modified, mediated, and reimagined as inspired by real events, fears, anxieties, losses, and accomplishments. 

Sandra Ayala on her series’ The Boy, and America’s Funeral.