Interior Management is an ongoing project by Jennifer Ray that investigates the United States’ complicated relationship with the land itself, and is specifically concerned with our attempts to control it for our own use. We sculpt, harvest, prune, tame and pollute the natural world in a continuation of the righteous push of manifest destiny across the country. The Department of the Interior has the contradictory role of both managing the land as a resource and conserving it as an environmental necessity – a role that mirrors an underlying mainstay of American culture.
Jennifer Ray is a Wichita based artist and educator. She received her MFA in Photography from Columbia College and BA in Studio Art from Oberlin College. Her work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Kinsey Institute, and has been exhibited at the RISD Museum of Art, the Chelsea Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Hyde Park Art Center, and Chicago Cultural Center, among other venues. Her work was included in the Collector’s Guide to New Art Photography, published by Humble Arts Foundation. She has received a Follett Fellowship from Columbia College and grants from the Illinois Arts Council and the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture. In the fall of 2015, her work will be included in the 1st Asunción Biennial in Paraguay. She is currently a professor of photo media at Wichita State University.
Text and images © Jennifer Ray