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

Funding for new Thacher Park visitor center

State parks in the Capital Region are getting $8.675 million for a handful of construction/repair projects, the Cuomo admin announced today. The biggest chunk --... (more)

The 46ers

Check out this trailer/preview for The 46ers*, a documentary about people who hike the Adirondack's High Peaks. The cinematography is beautiful. Film blurbage: "The... (more)

Bright

A recent article in Intelligent Life -- a(nother) magazine from The Economist -- about the role of light in human biology highlights (ha) some interesting... (more)

Planning a Capital Region wedding: eloping

Lauren and George are planning a wedding in the Capital Region, and they're chronicling the planning process here on AOA. But this time, Lauren's talking... (more)

The Dude, he does

Fun: Local designer Andrew Gregory -- AKA lunchboxbrain -- has a shirt in the new Threadless collection inspired by The Big Lebowski. Andrew's shirt is... (more)

Recent Comments

Wow, a Merry Go Round! I read about those in the Babysitters' Club books, but I didn't know they actually existed. I kinda thought Ann M. Martin made them up...

The extraordinarily 80s Crossgates promo film

...has 17 comments, most recently from rob

Drawing: A Taste of Albany 2014

...has 64 comments, most recently from Stef

Conor Oberst at Brewery Ommegang

...has 2 comments, most recently from KGB

The Dude, he does

...has 1 comment, most recently from Greg Matusic

Photos from AOA6

...has 11 comments, most recently from Jeff Williamson