The Master Gallery
August 2 – October 27, 2018
Looking for Elsewhere
Photography by Donna Svennevik
At the time these photographs were taken, Svennevik was living in her family home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. “It was a home filled with love, yet strangled by alcoholism,” and Svennevik wasn’t spared the family disease. Lonely and depressed and facing the grim reality of her own burgeoning alcoholism, Svennevik uses her photography as a tool for escape. In the process of cataloging her relationship with both families, her intimate portraits capture the same sense of longing, suffering, addiction, depression, grief and joy that bridge their cultural divide, revealing both family’s struggle to create the American Dream.
Looking for Elsewhere is a collection of photographs taken from 1977 through the early 1980’s, depicting two immigrant Brooklyn families separated by a few city blocks, yet culturally distinct from one another. In these individual portraits, photographer Donna Svennevik captures the stark cultural and socioeconomic divide between her Nordic family and her adopted Puerto Rican gang family, The Dirty Ones.