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Jenny Fine

2022 Alabama Fellow

Jenny Fine

Recipient Information


New Brockton, Alabama



Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Southern Prize and State Fellowships

Grant Amount


Artist Statement

The camera functions as a tool that crops. It flattens space, freezes time, silences sound. Photography cuts out all that makes the world around us alive - then, is the photograph a kind of death? And if the photograph is death - what does it mean to regenerate an image or to wear it as a costume? The photograph is a stand-in; both presence and absence, simultaneously. My current work approaches photography from this framework in order to explore my relationship to historical identity and cultural inheritance in the American south.

My practice begins with my family's stories, flickering on the theater screen of my mind. My first act of making is a performance for the camera, a way of fixing the mental images conjured by stories; rendering them visible and suspended on the surface of the film. My work attempts to “reverse the camera's crop” by returning space, time, and animation to the latent image of memory. By incorporating forms of installation, lens-based media, performance, and storytelling, my work overlaps the past with the present and collapses the fourth wall established in the still image.

The ineffable nature of this lived narrative is neither didactic nor linear. Instead, it is so many threads and my weaving hands tying them together: the photograph as time, frozen – the camera, a device capable of shapeshifting memory – and the story – an apparition moving across time and space, resisting stillness and singularity.


Jenny Fine (b. 1981, Enterprise, AL) is a visual artist and instructor currently living and working in Alabama. Rooted in the photographic form, Fine's practice employs time as a material in her exploration of both personal and cultural memory, identity, and our shifting relationship to the photograph in this digital, image-saturated age. Fine has shown her work in solo exhibitions at Geh8, Dresden, Germany (2012), Dublin Arts Council, Dublin, Ohio (2014); The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, Ohio (2015), Children's Museum of the Arts, New York, New York (2015); Wiregrass Museum of Art, Dothan, Alabama (2015/2018/2020); Stephen Smith Fine Art, Fairfield, Alabama, (2016); Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Winston-Salem, North Carolina (2021); Gadsden Museum of Art and History, Gadsden, Alabama (2022); and Alabama School of Fine Arts, Birmingham, Alabama (2022).