This week I am featuring a selection of Critical Mass portfolios that were stand-outs in my very subjective opinion. There are numerous others that have already been featured on Lenscratch.
Kerry Kolenut, a recent MFA graduate of the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, is a story teller and an observer. The series she submitted to Critical Mass follows the personal and geographic journey of Mike and Colleen through the various places they have called home. Exploring her work further, she has several series that are fascinating windows into contemporary suburbia. Fair Lawn, is a typology of brick houses, and Televison and Activities explore what happens in those houses. Her work is included in two current exhibitions, Family Ties:The First Wave at the Fox Art Gallery at UPenn, and Experiencing America, at the Gormley Gallery at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore.
Communities are part of our everyday lives, in some way or another we are involved in multiple communities that all function differently. For the last few years I have been exploring how community functions in neighborhoods. One way of examining this is through an individual’s housing from a social as well as geographical point of view. Taking two individuals, Mike and Colleen, and photographing their structural history, I am interested in how people often make assumptions about an individual based on location of their home. Starting with the homes that they occupied as children, and continuing through to the architectural structure they currently live in, every property has been documented in its current state. By tracing their geographic history, I am investigating how their identity has been shaped through their relationship with the dwelling and the surrounding community. In presenting these images along with personal text from Mike and Colleen, it examines both the public and private elements of an individual within a community. Impressions and judgments often change once familiarity is established, by telling personal stories about the structure, events that took place, and people related to the property, the viewer becomes acquainted with the individual and can follow them throughout their life. This allows an idea of who these people are to be formed. Following two particular people, it interesting to see what influenced them in their lives and lead them to their current home. An important question that this raises is how do people arrive in the present and what values, attitudes, and mindsets follow them throughout their lives?
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