On September 19, Spot Gallery in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibition by photographer and film director Melodie McDaniel entitled ‘American Spectator.’ The photographs have been culled from McDaniel’s vast body of work that surrounds the exploration of place and identity.

McDaniel’s America comes cloaked in black and white, each frame probing at her personal question “Where do I belong in the world?” The daughter of an African and Native American father and a white Jewish mother, McDaniel shared with Spot Gallery her thoughts about her own race and identity: “Coming from bi-racial parents, I’m always trying to comprehend where I fit in the world. I’m drawn to sub-cultures and outsiders probably because of my own feelings of otherness.”

The photos–quiet and sharp–reflect an intersection of faith and secular subculture. Photos of women dancing wildly or counting dollar bills while wearing tight outfits bump against images of preachers and church goers worshiping at the altar. Though photographed mostly in the 1990s, the images appear almost like postcards from another era. Stylistically they reflect a film noir aesthetic: moody and dark yet always dignified.

‘American Spectator’ will be on display at Spot Photo Works from September 19 through November 9, 2015.

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