Lilly McElroy grew up in southern Arizona amongst cowboys riding bulls, coyotes howling on moonlit nights, beautiful sunsets, and vicious brawls. McElroy’s artistic practice revolves around translating those experiences and clichés into epic photographs and playfully antagonistic videos. The projects McElroy pursues are a reflection of her complex relationship with the American landscape and explore what it means to be an American in a time of diminished expectations.
McElroy’s explorations present a cinematic approach—making films edits with physical pleats, moving backward in time through the removal of matter, and creating theatrical sets that recall megalithic light-keeping calendars. While duration is certainly a measure of time, it also often functions as an appraisal of both labor and love. The work in this exhibition redirects the sun from a dominant presence into a subservient role as the artist captures the image, prints it, and recasts it into objects that become malleable forms—allowing her to alter and fold, but also touch and hold.