Mark McKnight - Heaven is a Prison
Loose Joints is proud to present Heaven is a Prison by Mark McKnight, an exploration of intimacy with and within the austere terrain of Southern California’s high desert.
In Heaven is a Prison, McKnight describes a queer otherworld that is at once utopic and purgatorial – occupied by a solitary pair of copulating, Sisyphean protagonists that appear both liberated and bound by their intimacies and the severe expanse in which they are depicted.
Divided into chapters, the poetic sequences in this book oscillate between the literal and the figurative, between distance and communion, and between violence and affection. Claustrophobic, horizonless landscapes are coupled with images of ethereal clouds and tangled bodies that are simultaneously sculptural, shrewd, and tender.
Through his synonymous description of landscape and body, McKnight suggests metaphor, pointing at both as vehicles – towards transcendence, bondage, beauty, and abjection – while also revealing them as two sides of the same coin.
Heaven is a Prison is the recipient of the 2020 Light Work Photobook Award, given annually to an artistic project that deserves international attention.
Mark McKnight is a Los Angeles-based artist who has exhibited and published work throughout the United States and in Europe. Recent solo exhibitions include Mark McKnight (Aperture Foundation, 2020) and in this temporarily prevailing landscape (Klaus von Nichtssagend, 2020). Mark is the recipient of the 2019 Aperture Portfolio Prize, the 2020 Light Work Photo Book Award, and a 2020 Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant. He is currently represented by Klaus von Nichtssagend, New York and Park View/Paul Soto, Los Angeles.
- Unique silkscreen print edition also available
Bundle offer: Buy the book and accompanying silkscreen print together to receive an exclusive cassette mixtape by Mark McKnight. Each cassette is an hour-long soundtrack to the book and is an edition of 100. Free Shipping worldwide.
- Co-published by Loose Joints & Light Work
- 132 pages, 60 tritone plates, 250 × 305 mm
- Silkscreened hardcover hand-wrapped inside printed paper
- text by Garth Greenwell
- ISBN 978-1-912719-15-0
- September 2020
- Mark McKnight in conversation with Drew Sawyer on Instagram Live, Sunday 18 October 2020
- Nearest Truth #100: Conversation with Mark McKnight
- Interview Magazine
- New Yorker
- British Journal of Photography
- Paper Journal
- Metal Magazine
- Another Magazine
- Elephant Magazine
- GUP Magazine
- Tank Magazine
- review by Timothy LeBlanc