2005-08-25 / Arts

‘Still, Not Dead’ Photographs At First Light Studio Show

‘Still, Not Dead’ Photographs At First Light Studio Show

The subjects of Mikael Kennedy's photography are "artists and wanderers as they attempt to remain alive, walking through cities of passive consumers," Kennedy says.The subjects of Mikael Kennedy's photography are "artists and wanderers as they attempt to remain alive, walking through cities of passive consumers," Kennedy says.

Prints from "Still, Not Dead," a book of photographs by Mikael Kennedy published in May 2005 by "interrupt art productions" and "9:37 productions," will be on display and for sale at First Light Studios in Randolph, with a gallery opening and reception Friday, Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m. "Still, Not Dead" focuses on one group of artists who have traveled and lived together for several years and on several "satellite crews" from New England and splinter cities.

Kennedy, who was born in Randolph in 1979, and received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass., where he studied photography and completed his first large body of work titled "kids life sucks." "kids life sucks" was the product of a field study from college, where Kennedy lived out of the back of his car for three months, while driving around the North America. He interviewed and photographed young artists and homeless youth as they explored the world and options before them, often struggling with the past they had come from. The work was compiled into a gallery show of 70 color prints and shown in Amherst and Boston, Mass.; and Bristol, Vt.

After graduating from college, Kennedy continued to work and travel the states as a roadie and tour photographer with several bands, and moved around from city to city with other young artists. It is from this second phase of traveling that "Still, Not Dead" was born.

"‘Still, Not Dead’ is a statement of defiance to the dominant culture around us, a different option for living opposed to a world whose values of consumerism and competition are stealing away what life actually is, and what it can be," Kennedy says. "However, ‘Still, Not Dead’ is not a negative message or action. On the contrary, it is the idea that it is possible to live another way, to find other points of value in our lives and to focus on those values, to build those values up around you."

"It is about new families and new communities, not being constructed by bloodlines and geographic location, rather through passions and desires for real life, a life lived," Kennedy continues. "That is the message that is carried through the images and story told of this one group of artists and wanderers as they attempt to remain alive, walking through cities of passive consumers. It is a dark message, but one that is focusing on the light and the beauty of that light shining in the darkness rather than on what surrounds it, threatening to swallow it."

Copies of "Still, Not Dead" are also available at Cover to Cover Books on Main Street in Randolph. For more information visit www.interruptart.com or call 728-9856.

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