Lissa Rivera’s series “Dioramas” is discussed in Sara Knelman’s article for Aperture:
The long history of photography as theater—the capacity of the medium not only to record but to imagine—underpins Lissa Rivera’s more ominous “Dioramas” (2013-14). Her painstakingly hand-colored archival images, mounted on cardboard and lit by flashlight, mash up social history, portraiture, and set design. In one image, aristocratic colonists dine in a cave, while an androgynous masked figure reclines in the foreground, a mythical torso emergent at her side, dropping details from a geological survey providing a natural curtain. Rivera’s hallucinatory scenes, deeply recessed in a cavern of psychosexual drama, reach back to the alchemy of early photographic techniques and forward to the possibilities of virtual and augmented reality. Far from an indictment, Rivera reminds us of the past’s spectral presence and its transcendent potential.