A new show at Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco, on view until January 27, highlights the work of nine Bay Area photographers who work in a documentary mode and explore how life “can be so magnificent and challenging simultaneously,” writes Ann Jastrab, the show’s curator and formerly the gallery director at RayKo Photo Center in San Francisco. The images in “There Is No Alas Where I Live” share an interest in the idea of resilience, as embodied by the show’s title, which comes from a Theodore Roethke poem that suggests “there may be grief and there may be concern, but there is no pity,” Jastrab writes in a statement.
The show includes Wesaam Al-Badry’s photos of people living in the Mississippi Delta, Lewis Watts’s images from his “New Orleans Suite” and Hiroyo Kaneko’s series, “New Memories,” which follows the passing of seasons in her home town of Aomori, Japan. There are images from Paccarik Orue’s long term project, “El Muqui,” about a Peruvian mining town, Josh Smith’s series “The First Years,” which follows his family life with two young children and Mimi Plumb’s desert landscape. Johanna Case-Hofmeister shows women who are “beautiful as they struggle and float in a never-ending expanse of water,” Jastrab writes. Kathya Landeros’s series “West” presents “an urgent reflection on photography, labor, and community,” while Eva Lipman’s series “The Making of Men” focuses on masculine rites of passage in “intense and charged” images that record fleeting moments of transition. Together, the photographers suggest how indistinguishable struggle and joy can be.