October Artist in Residence: Cole Don Kelley

Untitled (Ballarat CA), 2017, Portrait of the Artist, Untitled (Meteor City AZ), 2013

Untitled (Ballarat CA), 2017, Portrait of the Artist, Untitled (Meteor City AZ), 2013

LATITUDE is excited to welcome Cole Don Kelley as its October Artist In Residence!

Cole Don Kelley is a photographer born and raised in Paris, Texas. He is a recent graduate of the Yale School of Art and currently works as a seasonal National Park Ranger at Zion National Park in Utah. His work has been exhibited in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris, London and Sydney.

Q & A

Much of your practice seeks to capture the fabric between this world and the next, exploring ideas of multiple time dimensions - is there a place for scientific study in your practice?

My work is a scientific study in the way that I'm also posing a series of questions to the world and gauging its answers. I'm interested in evidence, asking 'why?', and reaching out to touch the world. I'm less interested in conclusions, subtracting myself from the equation and the facts.

Many of your photographs feature close family and friends, have you ever considered your work to be autobiographical?

What else could it possibly be? It is mine, after all. I've never extended my reach very far past what I see right in front of me. Not only is it important that I make it clear that I'm sending out my particular vision of the world, it's also important to me that the people I love help me do it.

What will you be working on during your residency here at LATITUDE?

Mining my entire archive, starting from when I was 16, to begin work on a book.

You are currently working for Zion National Park in Utah. Has this change of environment influenced your art practice in any way?

The people and places are different but the artwork is the same. If anything, working in the wilderness with strangers has brought me away from artwork and straight down into life itself.

I'm eager to move away and float off into space again.

You have described your work as a ‘teenager’, can you expand upon this idea of an artwork’s emotional maturity?

It's a strong goal of mine to keep myself and my artwork on the verge of emotional hysteria, just like a teenager. I don't ever want to mellow out or feel myself succumbing to that mild numbness that seems to grow stronger with each passing year. I used to cry every night when I was 16. Hell yeah.

Are there any current movies, books, magazines, or podcasts that you recommend for readers to check out?

Watch: Personal Shopper, A Quiet Passion.

Read: 10:04 by Ben Lerner, Outline by Rachel Cusk.

Listen to: Nick Cave: The Skeleton Tree, Slowdive: Slowdive.

AIR 2018Colleen Keihm