Friday, August 19, 2011

Proprietary Chaos

“Proprietary Chaos,”  introduces an exciting new show at Rocky Neck Gallery.  This show features  photographs of street life and informal communities of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, taken over the last four years by Laurence Kent Jones.  Images include street scenes and over-sized stitched panoramas of informally built hillside neighborhoods and comparison photos of neighborhoods before and after the January 2010 earthquake.

Canope Pans Vert Series
photograph by Laurence Kent Jones

Laurence Kent Jones has been assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti for the last four years as part of a stabilization project focused on an economically deprived section of the city. As a result he spent a lot more time at the street level than the average diplomat. “Of course, I always had my camera with me!” With his photographs, Jones presents a moment in time that may be washed away or possibly reveals the seeds of a modern style of infrastructure unique to the needs and conditions of a large and tropical island.

"Haiti has a vibrant street life.  Most people have very limited resources and housing is frequently no more than shelter to sleep and eat, while the rest of the day's activities take place on the street in the open.  The small merchants settle semi-permanently into a spot on the sidewalk, a passageway, or in any open space that might be available, overrunning the public space.  Poorer people have colonized the corners of the older neighborhoods and created huge informal squatter settlements.  The line between planned portions of the city and the squatter settlements is obvious on the ground and shockingly clear from above.  We're seeing an urban infrastructure develop that is very different from anything in North America.  This collection of photographs taken before and after the 2010 earthquake, include journalistic street scenes and oversized panoramas of informally built hillside neighborhoods in Haiti.

The show opened this past Wednesday, Aug. 17 and continues until Tuesday, Aug. 30.  It is part of Rocky Neck Gallery Summer Artist series introducing excceptional new works from local to international artists every two weeks.  A reception for the artist will be held this Saturday, Aug. 20, from 6-8 pm.  The artist, Laurence Kent Jones, will give a presentation at 7 pm.  Please join us for a poignant exhibition and a very informative artist talk. 


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