(b. 1968) is a photographer and multi-disciplinary artist living and
working in New York City and Portland, Oregon. Her investigations
of nature, culture and the body frequently employ sensual metaphor
with humor, and use photography, video and installation to present
unique aesthetic or social philosophies.
In photography, Lucas collaborates extensively behind and in front
of the camera, and is known for her stylistic portraits. Working entirely
on-location in nature, the studio or a fantasy setting; a fortuitous
balance of art direction and individuality appears in the images.
Celebrating the body in the historically male tradition of erotic
tableaux, she photographs both male and female nudes. Her artist portrait
series 'Sitting City' shares an intuitive approach, merging beauty
and intimacy and revealing nuances of identity. An ongoing self-portraits
series since 1997 'MLSP' (Marne Lucas Self-Portrait) portrays a parade
of characters, in various urban locales and in nature, making commentary
about beauty, the feminine, changing social attitudes and gender.
'Bardo' is a new multi-media
project exploring creativity as a form of spiritual end-of-life care,
illuminating the positive effects of art as mind and body are integrated,
coupled with relics from those journeys. Photographing hospice patients
and working with them to express artistic endeavors that best represent
their legacy, the aim is to help the dying attain peace and acceptance
in the face of death.
Her multi-channel infrared (IR) video installation 'Incident Energy'
(2013-14) with Jacob Pander, used heat sensitive imaging cameras to
reference surveillance culture and the fragility of human existence.
Transporting the viewer into an "'otherworld' space by the intersection
of art and technology, the work posed questions about how the advancement
of surveillance culture continues to change human interaction in creative
or philosophical ways. Range Phenomenology (infrared) associated with
military, border or aerial surveillance visualizes the surreal beauty
of heat-signatures radiating from the corporeal, offering a glimpse
of our temporal coalescence of ancient stellar energy, and draws upon
analogies about the universe: that we are truly beings of light. Their
most famous work is probably 'The Operation' (1995) an award-winning
erotic short film made with the same thermal imaging technology to
depict an eerie, sci-fi, surgeon/patient coupling in an operation
room theater; the result merged fine art, invasive surveillance technology
and the body. Setting the stage for provocative expression of heat
signatures with a bold new way of observing both surface and subcutaneous
flesh, the film became a cult classic.
For the past few years she has worked closely with sculptor Bruce
Conkle on their invented genre of 'Eco-Baroque' art, creating elaborate
Nature-inspired elaborate installations made from recycled or natural
materials. Exploring nature and regionalism with a wry reverence,
they present eco-based philosophies about humanity and have exhibited
in the 2012 Mongolia 360 Land Art Biennial, Portland2010 Oregon Art
Biennial and at The Art Gym.
Previously a harm reduction
activist, she co-curated the 'Danzine Retrospective' (NYC) with Teresa
Dulce (founding director of the now defunct non-profit organization
Danzine) as part of 'At The Mercy Of Others: The Politics of Care',
organized by the 2004-05 Whitney Museum ISP Fellows. She served as
co-curator to the 'Sex By Sex Worker Film + Video Festivals' (1998,
2000) created to provide exposure for sex-workers, support freedom
of speech, and advocate female health and safety, and were the first
of its kind.
Lucas exhibits in the U.S.
and internationally, participated in a 2016 Kohler artist residency
(foundry and ceramics), an invitational CentralTrak artist residency,
Caldera artist residency; and has received RACC project grants in
2006, collaboratively 2008 and 2012. She made a public art commission
for the PSU Smith Memorial Student Union, funded by a 'Public Art
+ Residency Projects' Oregon Arts Commission grant.
Lucas at Spiral Jetty, Great Salt Lake
photo: Bruce Conkle