Allyson Pinon (b.1994) is a photographer based between Brooklyn and Baltimore. Her work explores human experience, understanding, and connotation within the context of contemporary society. She is interested in trying to better understand the diverse ways that people perceive and experience the world and, in turn, the similarities in experience that arise despite an immense multiplicity of viewpoints. Through these studies she attempts to search for commonalities and connections within largely universal human experiences like aging, loss, and memory. Her work has been exhibited internationally in Switzerland, Paris, Los Angeles, and Baltimore. She is currently pursuing a B.F.A at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Today we share her series, Losing Touch.
Seventeen years ago my mother had a stroke that left her paralyzed in all but her right arm. One of the first things she did after she left the hospital, capitalizing on the newfound numbness in her body, was get the tattoo she always wanted of the Rolling Stones logo over her heart. I’ve always been struck by my mom’s wit, perseverance, and brazen personality. After her stroke, my family thought the biggest struggle would be in trying to help my mother become physically adjusted to her new body. In reality, my mother’s biggest struggle is in convincing everyone around her that there is more to her than what her physical ability portrays. Losing Touch is an ongoing series that chronicles my mother’s life as she tries to navigate through a world that is not quite meant for her.
Disability has profoundly affected everyone in my mother’s sphere of influence. Even within that sphere, there are limits to each individual’s ability to engage and relate. It’s human nature to avoid what makes us upset or uncomfortable and attentions can shift quickly. My mother’s feelings of alienation and distance generate from the lack of opportunities to voice her perspective and bring it into the sphere of contemporary consciousness.
My mother has been disabled for most of my life and even I have only a vague understanding of how she understands the world around her. This realization spurred the inspiration for this body of work, as I continuously attempt to grasp the totality of my mother’s experiences in society. Getting through everyday activities can be a struggle but this constantly challenges her to create new avenues and opportunities to proceed through life. My mother’s computer has become one of her most invaluable possessions due to the sense of anonymity it provides and it’s access to all corners of the world. My mother uses her email as her preferred method of expression and communication, as it allows her to interact in precisely the same way as every other member of our society.
Throughout this, my mom is a fairly realistic person, with a darker wit, and she longs for understanding; not sympathy. This body of work is my attempt at navigating the duality between the way she is viewed and her own perspective.
To view more of Allyson’s work, please visit her website.