The sometimes overlooked Troy

A site called Bag News featured an interview/slideshow today with photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally about Troy:

From the accompanying text:

Brenda admits that all her work is autobiographical. Her past is a guide that helps her explore the lives of the women upstate. Brenda grew up in Albany, not far from her main focus, Troy, New York. Some might say that her work is about the impoverished conditions present in many of America's communities today. Instead Brenda is mostly interested in the social and moral dynamics of living in an "underclass" community.

Kenneally has worked on a handful of projects documenting these communities in Troy. Her "Upstate Girls" project focused on girls in the North Central neighborhood. The work was on display at the Sanctuary for Independent Media, which is in that neighborhood, last year.

Here's an Nieman Storyboard interview with Kennally about her work in Troy. And here are more of her photos (some might be NSFW).

Embedded after the jump is a multimedia collaboration between Kenneally and poet Susan B.A. Somers-Willet about Troy for the public radio program Studio 360.

(Thanks, B)

Comments

It'd be nice if the artist tightened her themes. Sure there's an underclass in every city and town, rural towns included. Photographs of poor folks' lives are edgy, always have been, but since there's almost no narrative line to this material it feels fetishy, maybe exploitative.

There's good work here, but not enough hard work. Maybe that's coming in the next piece.

LQ

I felt the same way when I first viewed her work. I grew up in Troy and I can tell you that visiting Troy City Court to watch the inmates was not a social event. Nor did I personally know anyone that had a child at 14 or was the child of a teenage mother.

A more interesting comparison would be shots of these women and girls vs. the rest of Troy. And some explanation of how my parents could have raised me, sent me to college, etc. and these women have raised their daughters to have babies at 14 and hook themselves onto someone with no future.

And while the homes on and off of Pawling Avenue may look grand because of their size, I wouldn't consider that the most affluent area of Troy. I think the artist needs to do a bit more research about exactly WHO the women of Troy are.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

A quick recap of the week

Here are a few highlights from the past holiday week on AOA: + We asked what you're thankful for this year. + Daniel's donut quest... (more)

Stuff to do this weekend

Somewhere between "I couldn't eat another bite" and "Is it time for leftovers?" comes the time to stretch your legs a bit and find something... (more)

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope you're enjoying the holiday -- in whatever shape it's taking for you. Thanks for being part of AOA this year!... (more)

Holiday markets 2014

Many people will be out and about doing holiday shopping over the next few weeks. If you're looking for something a little bit different --... (more)

Lark Street's Hot Dog Heaven closing

A piece of Lark Street history closes its doors for good on Sunday. Hot Dog Heaven, the tiny Lark Street diner where Barbara Lamperella and... (more)

Recent Comments

I am so very thankful for the wonderful people who wandered in and out of my life over the last few years. They have given me the love and support I need to survive and thrive. Last year at this time I was at my lowest. By the grace of all that is good in my life, I have climbed out and I'm happier than I've been in a very, very long time.

Lucius at The Hollow

...has 2 comments, most recently from Steve

Holiday markets 2014

...has 2 comments, most recently from Chris

The burger at 15 Church

...has 6 comments, most recently from C.

Lark Street's Hot Dog Heaven closing

...has 1 comment, most recently from Details

Why is there a fish atop Albany Academy?

...has 12 comments, most recently from Kayla