Q&A: Mark McKnight — Decreation


Have you recently been living by any life philosophy? Live and Let Live (on my better days). What is it that interests you about photography? The suggestive, poetic potential of it. What part of the planet would you like to explore? The interior part. If you had to align yourself with a leader in history, who would it be? Pema Chodron. Choose a job you would be willing to do for free on the side. Photographer. How often do you take other people’s advice? More often than I should. On what occasion do you lie? I’m an awful liar. What is the best way to educate yourself? By making as many mistakes as you can. What is the next book you want to read? Spinoza, Ethics (I started it days ago, and haven’t had the will power to pick it back up). Most used camera? TOYO CF 4X5. What object do you want? Rooster Skeleton. Pick a historic moment from the last hundred years to bring a camera to. The birth of my mother. Are impulses more important than consequences? Only in art-making and love. Which talent would you most like to have? At the moment: answering Q+A questions creatively. What is your plan for the next 24 hours? I’m in self-quarantine during a pandemic, at once banal and terrifying. Baking cookies and watching the economy collapse are not out of the realm of possibilities.

Mark McKnight (b. Los Angeles, CA) is an artist whose work has been exhibited internationally. His work has been written about in Aperture, Art in America, BOMB Magazine, Contemporary Art Writing Daily and was recently discussed on The Magic Hour: Conversations on Photography. His photographs have been included in several group exhibitions and catalogs of photography including 20/20 Vision: An International Photography Biennial and Defining Photographs & Radical Experiments in Inland Southern California, 1950 – Present (California Museum of Photography, Riverside, 2019). Recent solo exhibitions include if water forgets how to play mirror (Queens, Los Angeles, 2018), Turn Into (James Harris, Seattle, 2018), Mark McKnight (Aperture Foundation, New York, 2020) and in this temporarily prevailing landscape (Klaus von Nichtssagend, New York, 2020). In 2009, Mark traveled to Finland on a Fulbright Scholarship. Recent residencies include Light Work (2019) and Storm King Art Center (2017).

Mark is the recipient of the 2019 Aperture Portfolio Prize and a 2020 Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant. His first monograph Heaven is a Prison, will be published by Loose Joints (London/Marseilles) in Fall 2020 along with a solo presentation at Park View / Paul Soto (Los Angeles).

To see more of Mark McKnight’s work visit — Website / Instagram.