Jay Muhlin

Our Bones & Their True Names

I was asked to create work for a group show titled 99 Days at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center in Philadelphia, PA, that borrowed from the motifs and language of my project Guilty Pleasures. All participating photographers were asked to use the 2012 presidential election as the prompt to express our individual thoughts about America leading up to November 6th.

My reaction was to navigate Philadelphia, examining urban artifacts that spoke metaphorically about current, divisive political issues and address them in a billboard-style: flattened and with an aggressive tone. I began recognizing my thoughts in the outside world, emotions represented by objects in the city’s geography. What came out was more of a mood; in search of loneliness. I was guided by a strange magnetism; towards evidence of what were once sacred. My walks felt primitive, like an animal recognizing it’s path back home.

In the world I see: the traditional nuclear family is extinct, nature is unavoidable, and generations of solitude and warmth have been buried in the same, overlooked hole.