How do subjects present themselves to the camera? What are the power dynamics between the photographer, subject, and audience? Who historically has been deemed worthy of photographic commemoration and who is missing? Join us for a lecture and conversation with scholar and artist Ace Lehner on challenging notions of power and visibility in portrait photography. Lehner will present their own work at the intersection of trans and non-binary photographic representation, and engage in conversation with contemporary artists who interrogate the power dynamics of lens-based portraiture.

More speakers to be announced.

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to preferred seating in our reserved members’ section.

This program is held in conjunction with Your Mirror: Portraits from the ICP Collection. Our ICP Museum–public program combination ticket grants $10 entry to the galleries starting at 4:30 PM to those attending the program. Tickets are only available online when you register for the program.

Read our public program attendance policies.


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

Currently, Lehner is a Presidents’ Dissertation Year Fellow at the University of California and completing their dissertation Trans Representations: Contemporary Art Photography and Non-Binary Visual Theory. Recently Lehner has been an artist-in-residence at the Wassaic Project in Wassaic, NY. In February 2019, Lehner will chair a panel on Trans Representations at the College Art Association conference in New York City. Lehner was a recipient of the Murphy and Cadogen Fellowship in the Fine Arts and the Sheffield Art League Scholarship. Lehner has taught and given lectures at various institutions, including College Art Association, California College of the Arts, Oakland; Southern Exposure, San Francisco; University of California, Santa Cruz; Rochester Institute of Technology; and Stony Brook Manhattan, among others. Lehner is a member of the artist collaborative project ERNEST and often makes work with artist Libby Paloma.

Lehner is currently a PhD candidate in visual studies in the History of Art and Visual Culture department at University of California, Santa Cruz, and is based in New York. Lehner holds an MA/MFA in visual and critical studies/fine art from California College of the Arts and a BFA in studio art with a minor in social anthropology with distinction from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Lehner also studied fine art and art history at Middlesex University in London, England.

Lehner has worked as a commercial photographer for over a decade.


Image: Unidentified Photographer, I Sell the Shadow to Support the Substance. Sojourner Truth, 1864. International Center of Photography, Purchase, with funds provided by the
ICP Acquisitions Committee, 2003 (182.2003)