Judith G. Levy
I create art that focuses on American public history, popular culture and identity. My videos, prints, photographs, performances and installations explore how stories, memories and legacies are created and examine the charged content that exists between the lines. I often blend fiction and fact to illustrate how the threads of individual, cultural and national narratives rely upon fabrication, omission, and mistakes as they become accepted constructs of informal and formal history. I use familiar imagery and recognizable references, appropriation, and commonplace text and objects to create work that examines subjects such as racism, the expansion of the American West, and non-hetero-normative identity. Creating work that is complex but easily accessible is important to me, and I am interested in communicating not only with people who view art regularly but also with those who do not. I look for opportunities to present and exhibit in public libraries, universities and community venues. My work is influenced by my own queerness, by my former experiences as a social worker and community-organizer and by the struggles faced by my immigrant grandparents who had an endless capacity to ask questions and to challenge authority.

To create work that usurps conventional understandings, I frequently use
humor, alternative narratives, the suspension of disbelief, and assemblage to synthesize ideas and layer meaning. I simultaneously debunk established concepts and create new ones, so that they exist to create disturbing junctures that must be negotiated. Creating these upheavals often requires me to mimic the way history is taught, how souvenirs are created, how family stories are shared, and how personas are presented, while at the same time inserting challenges to these narratives that resemble their sources enough to be believed. I’m interested in creating new considerations and provocations, as I ask the audience to re-examine familiar concepts and accounts. This work reflects my deep concerns about injustice, ideology, tolerance and power as well as by my belief in our collective capacity to connect with one another, to create change and to imagine possibilities.