Collective Photo Album (many images of us alone, together)

Installation view. Collective Photo Album (many images of us alone, together), 29 March 2023 – ongoing. Artists Alliance, Norfolk St (between Broome and Delancey), New York. Photo: Brad Farwell.

Collective Photo Album (many images of us alone, together), is the result of a photo workshop created in collaboration between P.S. 134 fourth and fifth grade students and New York-based artist Jennifer M. Harley.

In Spring 2021, Dana Miller’s students unleashed their inner photographers to notice everyday moments with their disposable cameras, inspired by analog and digital photo albums that collect small moments to tell long stories. Set against the backdrop of prolonged isolation and immense instability caused by the pandemic, students created images that reflect a personal sense of self and the many community bonds that contribute to their identities. Students worked collaboratively with friends, family, educators, and caregivers to look toward ordinary spaces–bodegas, laundromats, parks, trains. They created images on their way to and from school, in Chinatown, the Lower East Side and surrounding neighborhoods, and inside their classrooms and homes–to honor the places, people, and things they care most about. The intimate moments depicted in their photographs not only reflect their ability to be present in instances of joy and love but exhibit their creative experimentation, vulnerability and courage.

The photos included in this installation are a small fraction of the many images that were created as a part of this project. The full living photo album is cared for by the students of P.S. 134, thank you for sharing a small part of it with us. 

Artist: Jennifer M. Harley 
Production Design: Kameron Neal
Curatorial Assistant: Erika Juarez
School Staff and Students: Principal Marlon Hosang, Ms. Dana Miller, Deanmani, Diol, Eowyn, Isiah, Jaylor, Jenna, Kaiden, Lily, London, Louisiana, Nu-Asla, and Saniya

Commissioned by Artists Alliance Inc and presented in partnership with the District 1 City Seekers program. Project support provided by Delancey Street Associates/Essex Crossing, LES Partnership, and Essex Market.

Jennifer Harley (she/they) is an interdisciplinary artist, art historian and educator based in Brooklyn. Her practice includes collaboratively building and facilitating partnerships between art museums and community spaces, centering individuals with justice histories. She received her BFA in Sculpture and BA in Art Management at Appalachian State University and has held roles at The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum, and The Museum of the City of New York. She is currently the School & Community Partnerships Manager at the Studio Museum in Harlem where she has worked five years. In September 2022 she will join the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University as a PhD candidate.