Parsons MFA Photography program alumna Joy McKinney is exhibiting prints and video from “The Guardians” series at the Martin Art Gallery at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA from March 3-30.
Arthur Ou, Assistant Professor of Photography at Parsons, discusses McKinney’s work: “’The Guardians,’ poignantly speaks to the intricate relationship between stillness and touch, and, more importantly, photography’s role in this complicated symbiosis.”
Over the course of a year, McKinney traversed the streets of Lower Manhattan, camera in hand, with left hand stretched out, poised to make contact with complete strangers. It is understood that within an urban environment, to enter upon the space within someone else’s arm’s length is an intrusion, especially while someone is sitting, or standing still.
“McKinney deliberately invites herself into the invisible private space of her subjects. The photographs indeed depict the moment of contact, but one can imagine that a momentary pause ensued when the willing (or slightly reluctant subject) held still for the exposure to take place,” Ou says. “Upon this ephemeral meeting, the transaction yields a brief communion, a kind of kinship. It is palpable in the gaze.”
McKinney graduated from the MFA Photography program in 2013. She works as Coordinator of Course Planning for the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons.
The Martin Art Galley is located within the Baker Center for the Arts at Muhlenberg College, at 2400 Chew St., Allentown, PA. It is open Tuesdays – Saturdays from noon to 8:00 p.m.
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