July 18 – October 20, 2019
reception July 18, 2019 7-8:30 PM
“When something is festering in your memory or your imagination, laws of silence don’t work. It’s like shutting a door and locking it on a house on fire in hope of forgetting that the house is burning.” – Tennessee Williams, from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
I’ve been afraid of letting go of the life I was programmed to live. I was taught that having a family and a home and a church and a regular job meant that I was successful. My own family life was difficult and displaced, not something I wished to reproduce. I am distrustful of both people and the idea of the American Dream. I’ve avoided any of the rites and rituals that signify “success” but failed to replace a broken mythology with any other. I began searching for signs of meaningful relationships and missed opportunities, trying to piece together a map of how to be. I needed to look at the past, see it clearly, and then see beyond it. Symbols of a damaged childhood, when contained within a frame, no longer carry the unbounded force of memory. Signs of connection, when taken out of context, reveal themselves to be fallacies. I have been afraid that I will drown in other people. I couldn’t see how water can soothe and sustain as well as destroy. Thomas Roma likens the making of photographs to Robert Frost’s idea of making a poem: “A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness, a lovesickness.” These pictures come from that emotional space of longing, of wishing for things that never were and might never be. I can only see a feeling clearly when I disarm and immobilize it, pin it to the wall and examine it with the others. I’m learning how to be alone without being lonely, how to be carried without being overwhelmed, and to walk away from what I want to leave behind. – JM
“Underneath the chlorinated swimming pool waters, Jennifer McClure’s figure sinks into a swirl of bubbles in her lonely yet serene poolside moments.” – Kat Kiernan, Gallery Director Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA on the exhibition called Summer Splash.
Jennifer McClure is a fine art and documentary photographer based in New York City. She uses the camera to ask and answer questions. She is interested in appearances and absences, short stories and movies without happy endings. Her work is about solitude and a poignant, ambivalent yearning for connection.
The child of a Marine, she moved frequently and traumatically. She decorated her walls with traces of her past; photographs became anchor points. After acquiring a B.A. in English Theory and Literature, Jennifer began a long career in restaurants. She returned to photography in 2001, taking classes at the School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography, where she was a teaching assistant for many years.
Jennifer was awarded CENTER’s Editor’s Choice by Susan White of Vanity Fair in 2013 and has been exhibited in numerous shows across the country. She was a 2017 Critical Mass finalist and twice received the Arthur Griffin Legacy Award from the Griffin Museum of Photography. Lectures include the School of Visual Arts i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration series, Fotofusion, FIT, NY Photo Salon and Columbia Teacher’s College. She has taught workshops at PDN’s PhotoPlus Expo, the Maine Media Workshops, and Fotofusion. She was a thesis reviewer and advisor for the Master’s Program at both the School of Visual Arts and New Hampshire Institute of Art. Her work has been featured in publications such as GUP, The New Republic, Lenscratch, Feature Shoot, L’Oeil de la Photographie, The Photo Review, Dwell, Adbusters, and PDN. She also founded the Women’s Photo Alliance in 2015.