Photographer Katie Lehman examines photographic collapse in BLACK PYRAMID

Katie Lehman is an undergraduate photography student in the ASU Herberger College School of Art.

This exhibition explores the reaction to visual inundation and the mental organization of visual information. Perception, anxiety and frustrations within the viewer are investigated with the aid of a camera and digital-imaging technology.

“In the 21st century, we are forced to digest an overwhelming surplus of signage, photographs, symbols and propaganda,” Lehman says. “People continuously are taking pictures, creating memories and trying to preserve the past. It is hard not to feel constantly bombarded with imagery; sensory overload is partly a result of these circumstances.”

The title of Lehman’s piece, BLACK PYRAMID, stems from the story of King Amenemhat III, one of the greatest monarchs of Middle Kingdom Egypt, who constructed an ambitious burial pyramid riddled with a complicated network of subterranean passages and tunnels. The pyramid’s proximity to sea level and the inferior mud-brick it was comprised of, allowed groundwater from the Nile River to seep into the walls and weaken the entire structure. Due to too many corridors and chambers and not enough stress relievers to support them, the pyramid quickly collapsed. Now a mound of darkened rubble, the structure's decayed appearance earned it theBLACK PYRAMID name.

Lehman feels that creating photographs in response to superfluous amounts of unwarranted imagery will heighten the awareness of imagery impact on the human mind and the result will be a construction of her own black pyramid – a collection of photographs about an abundance of photographs collapsing in on itself.

Step Gallery, Tempe Center, Ste. 174, Northeast corner of 10th Street and University Drive (located just north of the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center).

Exhibition: March 30 – April 3, 2009

Reception: Monday, March 30, 7–9 p.m.

Gallery Hours: Monday – Thursday, 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Friday, noon. – 3 p.m.


Public Contact
Katie Lehman
ASU Herberger College School of Art 

The School of Art is a division of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Its printmaking, photography and art education programs are nationally ranked in the top 10, and its Master of Fine Arts program is ranked eighth among public institutions by U.S.News & World Report. The school includes four student galleries for solo and group shows by graduate and undergraduate art and photography students: Gallery 100, Harry Wood, Northlight and Step. To learn more about the School of Art, visit

Media Contact:
Nick DeFord
Interim Gallery coordinator