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Leave A Lantern On- Dana Smessaert

Leave A Lantern On- Dana Smessaert

Archival Inkjet Print
36" x 36" x 1"


...An Obligation to do One’s Best is an exploration of myth and reality. The artist explores her displacement in the American South by confronting and acknowledging the violence of being a white woman in the South. These houses are moments of confrontation. Being a neighbor but yet still an outsider unable to come in paired with the threat of the gaze. In these liminal landscapes, the viewer becomes apart of the mythos of the South, the romanticism the storytelling, implementing their ideas of the occupants. Calling into question who narrated these stories, who’s history are we referencing, where does the root of our implications begin? Is it problematic that these houses cannot merely be houses? The American South’s history is complex and seemingly transparent to those on the outside. However, the stories of those who live here still exist in the space betwixt myth and reality.

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