Darren Lee Miller


We tell the same stories over and over, repurposing the players to create new meaning but often the older associations remain close to the surface. Taking my cues from metaphors and symbols seen in ancient mythology, renaissance painting, TV commercials, drag performances, and contemporary politics, I undermine the power dynamics and roles that exist within depicted relationships to remind the viewer of familiar stories, but also to challenge expected meaning. Recent residencies with the Crawford County Historical Society, Blue Mountain Center, the Vermont Studio Center (upcoming, Nov. 2015), and access to locations managed by the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission have provided nearly unrestricted access to historical interiors and rural landscapes. I research and reflect upon the historical events, functions, and rituals that occurred in the various rooms and grounds, and then I document the performative interventions that I stage there in order to draw connections to older, archetypal stories. I continue my explorations of hidden desire, fantasy, and power play, while creating narrative moments for the camera.