Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Hartford, 1979 (detail) Constance DeJong, Racetrack Zenith, 2016-2017 (Series Three)

Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Hartford, 1979. © Philip-Lorca diCorcia Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong. Constance DeJong, Racetrack Zenith, 2016-2017 (Series Three)

Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Hartford, 1979. © Philip-Lorca diCorcia Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York/London/Hong Kong


Stories: Philip-Lorca diCorcia & Constance DeJong

Stories features photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia’s A Storybook Life and writer and performer Constance DeJong’s Radios.

Stories: Philip-Lorca diCorcia & Constance DeJong highlights the works of two artists who manipulate and sometimes outright reject traditional storytelling methods. DiCorcia and DeJong’s narratives transcend time and place, presented in visual and auditory fragments that invite the viewer to contribute to the tale.

Philip-Lorca diCorcia grew to prominence through carefully staged, meticulously lit photographic tableaus, often featuring strangers or paid actors. A Storybook Life (1978-1999) is a departure from this format. The 76 photographs that comprise the series are populated by friends and family, arranged in a specific, nonlinear order. Photographed over two decades, the images follow no clear timeline, creating a suburban dreamland straddling documentary and staged photography. Commenting on the series, diCorcia said, “A Storybook Life is an attempt to discover the possibilities of meaning in the interaction of seemingly unrelated images in the hope that content can constantly mutate according to both the external and internal condition of the viewer, but remain meaningful because of its inherent, but latent content. The conscious and subconscious decisions made in editing the photographs is the real work of A Storybook Life.”

As diCorcia’s works demand a prescribed sequence, Constance DeJong is also fanatical about order (or lack thereof) in storytelling. States DeJong, “Narrative is sequential, you can’t escape it.” DeJong is most well known for her first book, Modern Love (Standard Editions, 1977), a multi-genre novel with disparate narrators. She performed a live adaptation around the world and crafted a radio program based on the text with music composed by Philip Glass (1978).

DeJong’s Radios (2015-ongoing), a set of seven vintage radios broadcasting intimate and disarming narratives simultaneously, further emphasizes her mastery of prose. For Stories, six of DeJong’s original seven radios will be on display, playing their unique recordings throughout the entirety of the exhibition. DeJong notes, “Radios are the iconic portal to the disembodied speaking voice. I love the contradiction of a solid object (a radio) and an ephemeral invisible presence (the audio tracks). The speaking voice disconnected from a body can invoke intense listening, a kind of attention like no other.”


Phillip-Lorca diCorcia
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Phillip-Lorca diCorcia attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and received his M.F.A. from Yale University in 1979. Since 2007, his work has been represented by David Zwirner, where he has had three solo exhibitions at the gallery in New York: Thousand (2009), Eleven (2011), and Hustlers (2013), which coincided with the publication of a large-scale book by Steidl Verlag of the same name. In 2015, the gallery in New York presented the artist’s ongoing East of Eden series, marking its United States debut after it was first shown in 2013 at David Zwirner, London. In 2013, the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt organized a career-spanning survey of diCorcia’s work, consisting of over one hundred photographs from six series. The exhibition traveled later that year to the Museum De Pont, Tilburg, the Netherlands, followed by The Hepworth Wakefield, England in 2014, marking the most comprehensive presentation of his work in Europe to date. Other museum solo exhibitions include those presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2008) and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2007). In 1993, the artist’s first museum solo exhibition was organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Works by diCorcia are held in public collections internationally, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum De Pont, Tilburg, The Netherlands; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. DiCorcia lives and works in New York, and serves as senior critic at Yale University.

Constance DeJong
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Constance DeJong is an American artist, writer, and performer, producing fiction texts, language/image-based work for performance and theater, and audio and video installations. She has permanent audio installations in Beacon, New York, Seattle, Washington, and London, England. DeJong twice collaborated with Tony Oursler on live performances; collaborated on Super Vision, A Builders Association production (2005); acted as librettist for the opera Satyagraha, composed by Philip Glass. In 2016-2017, DeJong presented a retrospective of her performances at New York City venues where she’s performed over the years, including NightWriters, a new performance and artist’s book. Her first book, Modern Love, was re-issued by Primary Information/Ugly Duckling Presse, spring 2017.

Works by DeJong are held in numerous public collections, including The J. Paul Getty Museum; Tate Museum; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art Library, New York; Franklin Furnace Archive, Brooklyn, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Toronto; Art Metropole, Montreal, Quebec, Canada; New York University, Fales Special Collection, Bobst Library; New York City Public Library, Special Collections; Vassar College Art Library; University of North Carolina, Sloane Art Library; and the Collection CGP, She lives and works in New York.