October 2021 BookLENS: Katherine Longly

Katherine Longly, featured artist in this month’s BookLENS, lives and works in Brussels and graduated in photography, communications, and anthropology. Her projects often start with a very specific question. Behind these questions lies a desire to understand a social phenomenon. And humor is not excluded. Longly pays special attention to actively involve people she works with in the construction of her projects. She also works as a guide and cultural intermediary in various museums, as well as conducts photography and contemporary art workshops, participatory projects, and trainings for all types of audiences.

This is the third BookLENS installment coordinated by interveiwer Jonathan Blaustein. Blaustein an artist, writer, and educator based in Taos, New Mexico. Jonathan is a weekly columnist at the popular blog A Photo Editor, and spent six years as a photo critic at the New York Times Lens blog as well, with previous bylines online for The New Yorker, VICE, and Hyperallergic. His first monograph, “Extinction Party,” was published in March 2020 by Yoffy Press, in Atlanta. Jonathan recently joined PhotoNOLA’s 2021 advisory committee and is assisting in the production of PhotoNOLA’s virtual PhotoBOOK Fair.

Katherin Longly, from ‘Hernie & Plume’, 2013-2020

Katherine joined Jonathan via video to discuss chasing her curiosities about humanity through story telling, building relationships with the subjects of her work, and her intentional choice to present photographic work in a book.

Longly’s most recent book, Hernie & Plume, is a story about social mobility, stereotypes, aging and, most of all, love. This project was born out of a relationship she made with Blieke and Nicole, an older couple living in a trailer camp (or ‘trailer park’) in Brussels with a love for partying. In the book, Longly plays with the prejudices that we all tend to have, no matter how much we try to avoid them. She builds her story calmly but purposefully and then reveals the true history of the protagonist. As a reader we are being misled and thus confronted with our own short-sightedness. Longly does this with extremely sincere and entertaining images of this partying couple, which yields a pleasant book and a wise lesson.

Katherin Longly, from ‘Hernie & Plume‘, 2013-2020

BookLENS is an interview series coordinated by PhotoNOLA’s PhotoBOOK Fair and published on NOPA’s online blog. This year’s PhotoBOOK Fair will take place virtually on Wednesday, December 8, 2021. Check the PhotoNOLA website, Facebook, or Instagram for ongoing updates.

Katherin Longly, from ‘Hernie & Plume‘, 2013-2020