Zoe Leonard and Anne Reynolds met at a dinner party thrown by Lynne Cooke, curator at large for Dia Art Foundation. Reynolds had written a graduate paper on the 1953 film Niagara; Leonard was working on an art project using Niagara Falls postcards. Having uncovered the mutual interest, and although they were dissimilar uses of the subject matter, Leonard thought it would be an interesting collaboration between art historians and an artist to write essays in reaction to her work. This is a discussion between Leonard and Reynolds about the finished product and the process behind making it. Recorded at 192 Books on March 15th, 2011.
Zoe Leonard’s You See I Am Here After All (Dia Art Foundation) brings together thousands of postcard images of the “great cataract,” Niagara Falls, from the early 1900s through the 1950s. This grand accumulation of viewpoints brings up issues as diverse as human interventions with nature and the function of landscape in inventing American historical narratives, as well as the technological evolution of image reproduction and dissemination.
Anne Reynolds is associate professor in the department of art and art history and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.