October 30: Opening for “City Under One Roof,” Jen Kinney’s Lange-Taylor Prizewinning Project

From "City Under One Roof," Whittier, Alaska, 2011–14. Photograph by Jen Kinney, 2013 Lange-Taylor Prize Winner

From “City Under One Roof,” Whittier, Alaska, 2011–14. Photograph by Jen Kinney, 2013 Lange-Taylor Prize Winner.

“The City of Whittier is a world entire. The great myth of Alaska—harsh but rewarding, distant, lawless, primal, pristine—is alive here in funhouse distortion. The town occupies a crescent moon of shoreline, ringed in mountains and bordered by the sea.” Jen Kinney, from City Under One Roof

On October 30, the Center for Documentary Studies will host an opening reception and artist’s talk for City Under One Roof, Jen Kinney’s solo exhibition on Whittier, Alaska, in which she uses photographs and writing to explore shared spaces in the tiny, remote outpost on Prince William Sound. Her Whittier project garnered Kinney, a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, CDS’s prestigious Lange-Taylor Prize in 2013; the $10,000 annual award supports documentary artists involved in ongoing fieldwork projects that rely on both words and images. Click here for more information and a slideshow of images from the exhibit, on view through January 24, 2015.

City Under One Roof
Thursday, October 30: Reception, 6–9 p.m.; Artist’s Talk with Jen Kinney, 7 p.m.

Center for Documentary Studies
1317 W. Pettigrew St., Durham, North Carolina

Kinney describes Whittier, sixty miles north of Anchorage, as “an unlikely crossroads of community and solitude, isolation and claustrophobia.” The only land access is via the longest rail and highway tunnel in North America. Ninety percent of the town’s population of just over two hundred people live in one fourteen-story building. Kinney’s ongoing project looks at “how the structures that people inhabit shape and order their lives; how, in turn, people construct, alter, and destroy spaces; and how these constant renovations to our physical world mirror changes in the stories that we tell ourselves, and how we structure our lives to these stories.”

To read some of Jen Kinney’s writing for City Under One Roof, see the Winter 2014 issue of Document.

Lange-Taylor Prizewinning projects are included in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Library. 

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