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Ace Lehner

Ace Lehner is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist specializing in history, theory, and criticism of contemporary art; photography history and theory, queer and trans theory and visual culture, critical race studies, and issues of representation. Lehner’s artistic practice often embraces collaboration and primarily utilizes photography and video to mine the complex relation between representations and the constitution of identities. 

Lehner is currently an artist in residence at Artist-In-Vacancy in Newburgh, NY, and will be an artist in residence at The Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY, from July - December 2021.

Lehner has chaired panels on Trans Representations at the College Art Association conference in New York, NY, has spoken about their research and artistic practice at the International Center of Photography, and has been published in Art Journal, REFRACT, The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, The Journal on Images and Culture, The Bay Citizen, (and elsewhere). Lehner’s work has been exhibited internationally and will be featured in a Solo exhibition at Practice Gallery in Philadelphia in 2021. Lehner's first book, Self-Representation in an Expanded Field: From Self-Portraiture to Selfie, Contemporary Art in the Social Media Age, published by MDPI Books Basil, Switzerland is an edited volume out May 2021. Access the book and attend the book launch and panel discussion (May 14, 2021) here: https://mdpibooks-1.sciforum.net/

Lehner is based in New York and teaches at Parsons School of Design, the Fashion Institute of Technilogy, and the Dia Foundation for the Arts. 
 

For more about Dr. Lehner and their work see: http://ace-lehner.com/

PhD, History of Art and Visual Culture, UC Santa Cruz
MFA, Fine Art, California College of the Arts
Research Interests: 

Research Interests:

Contemporary art and visual culture, queer and trans visual culture and theory, video and performance, collaborative practices, identity and representation, critical race studies, social media and self-representation. 

Selected Publications: 

 Books

2021 Self-Representation in an Expanded Field: From Self-Portraiture to Selfie, Contemporary Art in 
the Social Media Age, published by MDPI Books, Basel, Switzerland, (in press)

Chapters in Books
2021 Proliferating Identity: Trans Selfies as Contemporary Art,” Visual Culture Studies: Approaches to the Selfie, published by Routledge, INVITED, UNDER PEER REVIEW

“From Self-Portrait to Selfie: in the Social Media Age,” in Self-Representation in an Expanded Field: From Self-Portrait to Selfie, Contemporary Art in the Social Media Age, published by MDPI Books, Basel Switzerland, PEER REVIEWED, (in press)

“Self-Image as Intervention: Travis Alabanza and the Re-Making of Portrait Photography,” Self-Represetation in an Expanded Field: From Self-Portrait to Selfie Contemporary Art in the Social Media Age, 
published by MDPI Books, PEER REVIEWED, (in press)

Invited Book Review
2019 “Cruising for Antiessentialist Methods: A Queer Reworking of Art History,” Book Review of Alpesh Kantilal Patel’s Productive Failure: Writing queer transnational South Asian art Histories, INVITED, Art Journal, Vol. 77, no. 4 (Winter 2018): 135-139.

Articles
2021 “Trans Failure and The Queer Production of Identity,” Joyful Subjects: Individualism, Identity and Agency in Consumer Culture, INVITED, UNDER PEER REVIEW

2020 “Performing Utopia in Barbershop: The Art of Queer Failure,” FERAL FABRIC, Issue 2, (Fall 2020) PEER REVIEWED (https://feralfabric.com/Ace-Lehner)

2019 “Trans Self-Imaging Praxis, Decolonizing Photography, and the Work of Alok Vaid-Menon,” REFRACT, PEER REVIEWED (https://doi.org/10.5070/R72145857)

2017 “Freedom ’17,” OUT/LOOK: and The Birth of the Queer, Issue 18, (Fall 2017): p. 17. “Gender is a Drag,” TAKEOVER, issue 1, p. 80-84. (Independent Press).

“Bookshelf: Ace Lehner, Trans Visual Culture Reading List,” Art Journal Open, July 20 (http://artjournal.collegeart.org/?p=8670)

2015 “From Rayon to Original Plumbing: A Brief Reflection on Representations of Trans* People in U.S. Culture Today,” VASA: Journal on Images and Culture, INVITED, Issue 8, 2015. Online only.
“Surveilling Emptiness at Wapato Jail,” Demos Catalogue essay, C3 Initiative Portland OR, p. 24- 28. (Privately printed).

2010 “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn continues to make waves,” The Bay Citizen. San Franci

Selected Presentations: 

Panels Organized

2021 “Self-Representation in an Expanded Field: Self-Portrait to Selfie in the Social Media Age,”
MDPI Press, Basel Switzerland (forthcoming, May 14, 2021)

2019 “Trans Representations: Intersectional Gender Identities in Contemporary Art and Visual Culture,” College Art Association, Conference, New York, NY

Research Presented

2021 Invited Lecture Series, “ICP Lessons: Ace Lehner on Portraiture and Representation,” in conversation with David Campany, International Center of Photography, New York, NY

Discussant, First-Generation Alumni Network, UC-Wide, University of California, Santa Cruz

Invited Gallery Talk with Suzy Sureck “Gallery Talks: Sam Gilliam,” Dia Art Foundation, Beacon, NY

Invited Research Lecture, “Portraiture and Representation,” Art and Social Change, University of Minnesota, Deluth

2019 Invited Lecture, “Trans Selfies: Interventions in Contemporary Media” Contemporary Art of South East Asia, UC Santa Cruz

Invited Lecture, “Trans and Queer Representations in Contemporary Art,” The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ

Invited Panelist, The Right to Represent, paper title: “The Right to Represent: Representational Politics and Queer Photographic Practices,” International Center of Photography, New York, NY

Panelist “Trans Representations: Non-Binary Visual Theory in Contemporary Art,” College Art Association, Conference, New York, NY

2018 Invited Panelist, “Trans Selfies as Contemporary Art: Representational Politics and the Instagram Feed of Alok Vaid-Menon,” College Art Association, Conference, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Invited Panelist, “Trans* Selfies: Self-Portraiture in the Age of Non-Binary Gender and Social Media” The 7th Annual Kern Conference On Visual Communication – Selfies, Self-Portraits and Social Media, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

2015 Invited Panelist, “Transmale Selfies and The Politics of Picturing,” Immunity/Community Conference, Stony Brook University, Manhattan, NY

Invited Lecture, “Trans* representation” University of California at Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

2014 Invited Panelist, “From Rayon to Original Plumbing: Looking at and Thinking Through Trans* Embodiment in Contemporary U.S. Visual Culture” Gender Beyond Boundaries Conference, University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA

Sochi Reel-Time, ERNEST discussion of 2014 Sochi Olympics, c3: initiative, Portland OR/Oakland, CA
Invited Lecture, “From Award Winning Stereotype to Everyday Hero: Representations of Trans* people in Contemporary Visual Culture” Visit UCSC Symposium, University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

2011 Invited Lecture, “125 Years Later: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn continue to make waves,” Wattis Talks, Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, CA

2010 “Unfixing the Photograph: Rethinking Photographic Practices,” Visual and Critical Studies Symposium, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

Invited Lecture, “Picturing Resistance: The Problem of Vision, Photography’s Disidentification with Visibility” Queer Art Symposium, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

2009 “Picturing Resistance: The Problem of Vision, Photography’s Disidentification with Visibility” Identities Symposium, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

2007 Invited Lecture, “Making Contemporary Queer Histories” Queer Practices Symposium, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA

2003 Panelist, The Afterlife: a discussion with regards to artistic integrity, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec, Canada

2002 Invited Panelist, Trans inclusion in Feminist Practices, Feminist Center of Québec, Montréal, Québec, Canada
 

Teaching Interests: 

Modern and contemporary art, queer and trans visual culture and theory, history and theory of photography, politics of representation, artistic practice, performance and video. 

Honors and Awards: 

2021 Scholar in Residence, Wassaic Project, Wassaic, NY (Forthcoming July-Dec 2021)

2020-21 Scholar in Residence, Artist-In-Vacancy, Newburgh, NY

2020 College Art Association, Professional Development Fellowship in Art History

2019 President’s Dissertation-Year Fellowship, University of California, Santa Cruz

2018 Research Grant, History of Art and Visual Culture, University of California, Santa Cruz

2016 Scholar in Residence, The Wassaic Project, Wassaic NY
2015 Arts Dean’s Excellence Fellowship, University of California, Santa Cruz
Excellence Scholarship, Digital Arts and New Media, University of California, Santa Cruz

Florence French Scholarship, University of California, Santa Cruz
STARS Scholarship, University of California, Santa Cruz
HAVC Department Graduate Fellowship, University of California, Santa Cruz
2014 Regents' Fellowship, University of California, Santa Cruz
2014 Artist in Residence, C3 Initiative, Portland, OR
2014 Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowship, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
2007-2010 Graduate Merit Scholarship, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
CCA Scholarship, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2009 Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship in the Fine Arts, San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco, CA Research and Travel Grant, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
2008 Graduate Teaching Fellowship, The Center for Art and Public Life, Oakland, CA

Education and Training: 
PhD, Visual Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz
MFA, Fine Arts, California College of the Arts, San Francisco, CA
MA, Visual and Critial Studies, California College of the Art, San Francisco, CA
International Artist Exchange, Middlesex Univeristy, London, U.K.
BFA, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada (With Distinction)