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Dana Hoey


This book was published on the occasion of the exhibition The Phantom Sex , October 5 - December 8, 2012

Introduction by Corinna Ripps Schaming
"And Others of Her Ilk" by Johanna Burton

Edited by Jeanne Finley

Published by University Art Museum, University of Albany,
State University of New York

© 2012 University Art Museum

ISBN: 978-0910763448


About the artist

Dana Hoey (b. 1966, San Francisco, CA)

Dana Hoey is an American photographer born in San Francisco and based in the Hudson Valley, New York.  She received a B.A. in Philosophy from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in photography from the Yale University School of Art.

The artist’s work examines contemporary female identity through staged and directed photographs and videos, which set off “peculiarly allusive narrative sparks” by echoing familiar photographic and filmic conventions. At the beginning of her career, Hoey photographed her friends, but her oeuvre has since widened to portray women of all ages in various scenarios. Pushing the photographic and video medium’s tendency to blur the line between fact and fiction, interior and exterior appearance, Hoey interrogates the social roles that women play.

In 2017, Hoey conducted a residency project at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) in Michigan from February 11 – May 17.  In addition to presenting her photographs and videos, she offered free jiu-jitsu self-defense classes to a group of local young women that the Detroit Police Athletic League assembled.  The classes, which the artist filmed, linked the arts with concepts of social engagement, examining ways to foster bonds between police offices and the communities they serve.  In the fall of 2012, Hoey presented The Phantom Sex, a survey exhibition at The University Art Museum at Albany, New York, featuring works created throughout her career since the 1990’s.  An accompanying monograph was published for this exhibition by the university, which includes an essay by Johanna Burton.

In 2019 Petzel gallery hosted Dana Hoey Presents, a para fictional exhibition conceptualized, produced and directed by Hoey, in which the artist showed her own photographic work, the performance and sculpture work of Marcela Torres, and a live ladies Muay Thai fight night that took place in a 20’ x 20’ boxing ring installed inside the gallery. The show challenged and confronted preconceived ideas and realities of feminism, combat, violence, self-defense and the martial arts. For her own work, Hoey presented Ghost Stories, highly subjective, surreal lightbox collages, made from images shot by Hoey, as well as poster-style portraits of the subjects featuring their names and occupations. In the labeled posters Hoey aimed to surface the power dynamic of portraiture, particularly as it relates to a white artist taking the image of non-white people.  

Hoey has exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Solo exhibitions include Dana Hoey: Five Rings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (2017); Dana Hoey & Em Rooney, Raising Cattle, Montreal (2016); Love Your Enemy, Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany (2014); Experiments in Primitive Living, organized by Maurice Berger, at the Center for Art Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore (2010); and Dana Hoey at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2000). Selected group exhibitions include Strike Fast, Dance Lightly: Artists on Boxing, The FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2023); Live Dangerously, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. (2019);  Moving Women, Analix Forever, Geneva (2018); Love Job: Kieren Seymour and Dana Hoey, Sutton Gallery, Victoria (2017); We Pictured You Reading This at Redux Contemporary Art Center, Charleston (2010); Muse at the Wildenberg Art Center, Tulane University, New Orleans (2010), among many others.

Her work is held in various public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California; Middlebury College Museum of Art, Middlebury, Vermont; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, New Jersey; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California.