One of my photographs will be included in the upcoming exhibition One Hour Photo at the American University Museum at Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC (you can find directions here). The show runs from May 8th to June 6th with a unique premise:
"One Hour Photo distills the photograph to the ultimate limited edition: 60 minutes. Photographic works will be projected for one hour each, after which they will never be seen again, by anyone, in any form. Each work will exist only in the limited moments of perception, in the individual and collective experience, then memory, of the observers.
One Hour Photo complicates the myth of photography as preservation, manifests the tension between the permanence of the medium and the impermanence of time, and subverts the profit model of the edition and the print.
Documentation of the experience will consist of signed release forms: each participating artist will pledge never to reproduce, display, or sell the piece they've include in the exhibition."
Created by Adam Good and curated with Chajana denHarder and Chandi Kelley, the exhibition brings together 128 artists including Noel Rodo-Vankeulen, Tim Davis, Edith Maybin, Ahndraya Parlato, Brian Ulrich, Hee Jin Kang, Gregory Halpern, Nigel Shafran, Lucas Blalock, Jason Lazarus, Shane Lavalette, Penelope Umbrico, Clayton Cotterell, Matthew Gamber, Ann Woo, Ruben Natal-San Miguel, and many others.
Each artist was required to sign a release form stating that the images will never be viewed except in the one hour time slot, meaning that the projection is the only opportunity to see the photographs. I must admit it was difficult to turn over one of my pictures knowing that it will vanish into the ether. For me it became an exercise in the ability to let go--an interesting meditation on transience and impermanence, which seems fitting for my work.
My photograph will be on view from 2:00-3:00pm on Wednesday, May 26th.
View the full schedule here.
Graphic Intersections and The Portrait As Allegory
Curated by Ben Alper & Anastasia Cazabon
Graphic Intersections & The Portrait As Allegory
May 4th - June 26th, 2010
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 6th, 6 - 8pm
111 Front Street, Suite 208
DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Graphic Intersections is a collaborative project loosely based on the old Surrealist and Dadaist game The Exquisite Corpse. Designed to unite disparate artists in an interconnected photographic relay of images inspired by one another, or as the Surrealists put it, to exploit “the mystique of accident”, this project strives to emphasize a system of response entirely rooted in unmediated visual reaction.
This exhibition includes photographs by Ben Alper, Anastasia Cazabon, Thomas Damgaard, Scott Eiden, Grant Ernhart, Jon Feinstein, Elizabeth Fleming, Alan George, Hee Jin Kang, Drew Kelly, Michael Marcelle, Chris Mottalini, Ed Panar, Bradley Peters, Cara Phillips, Noel Rodo-Vankeulen, Irina Rozovsky, Brea Souders, Jane Tam and Grant Willing.
The Portrait As Allegory is an exhibition that examines the work of three artists who utilize the figure metaphorically in service of a broader discourse on the human experience. In addition to exploring the personal identities of their subjects, these portraits simultaneously become vehicles which speak to a variety of social, historical, and familial histories.
This exhibition includes photographs by Timothy Briner, Birthe Piontek and Susan Worsham.
To see more from Graphic Intersections, please visit our website. We hope to see you at the opening in May!
"As a relative codger of 47 with a demanding "day job" who is doing his best to "emerge" around the rest of his life (picture an overlarge and grizzled moth clawing its way free of the cocoon...) I am obviously no fan of age-restricted competitions. OTOH, I don't deny that any private entity has the right to limit its contest offerings any way it wishes, if it doesn't mind arbitrarily limiting the talent pool it can draw from--foolishly, in my estimation. When this starts to matter to enough people, those contests will find themselves bereft of contestants soon enough.
But respectfully, it seems inconsistent to accept preferential treatment for some groups (e.g. women and minorities) while decrying it for others (the under-35 crowd). Why is one kind of discrimination allowable while the other is odious? It becomes a tiresome contest between varying (if real enough) legacies of oppression: whose past suffering is more virtuous, and therefore more worthy of compensatory preference? I suppose this is really the affirmative-action debate writ small---under what circumstances is discrimination acceptable in the service of a supposedly overriding "greater good"? Can't imagine that's where you want this post to go; nor do I.
But preferences of any kind, however well intentioned, are a retrograde step as we work toward the ideal: the individual consideration of photographic work based on the work's merit, considered apart from its creator's demographics."
I have to say Michael's argument is very persuasive, and after thinking it over I may just have to fall on my sword and agree with his reasoning. He's right to question the bias toward any particular group, regardless of history. Which brings me to a post I wrote a while back about sexism in art. I'm going to repost the bulk of it because it offers an intellectual argument regarding an alternative to the way contests are usually judged. I know long posts are often skimmed, but I hope you'll stick with me:
"Prior to the 1980s, auditions for top orchestras were open—that is, the auditioning committee sat and watched one musician after another come in and play in front of the judges. Under this system, the overwhelming number of musicians hired by top orchestras were men—but no one thought much of this. It was simply assumed that men were better musicians. After all, what could be fairer than an open audition? And weren't the members of audition committees, "experts" in their field, capable of discerning good musicians from bad musicians?So here we have concrete evidence of gender bias in a creative field. This is not to say that those who did the hiring were overtly sexist or even aware of the preference, but the preference existed nonetheless. On a basic level gender bias is deeply pervasive in Western culture, and I believe it's so ingrained that even those of us who consider ourselves enlightened can fall prey. I remember instances in my (luckily) more distant past when I would be reading an article in a newspaper or journal, would think it was brilliant, and then on discovering the author was a woman feel my esteem go down a notch. I was always taken aback by this shift in my perspective, and it was only in challenging myself and even actively seeking out powerful artistic female role models that I now no longer have such a change of heart based on gender. Still--if I as a creative woman could fall prey to such bias against my own sex, what about those who never question their assumptions? Or those who wholeheartedly embrace their misogynistic attitudes?
But then, for a number of reasons, orchestras in the 1980s started putting up screens in audition rooms, so that the committee could no longer see the person auditioning. And immediately—immediately!—orchestras started hiring women left and right. In fact, since the advent of screens, women have won the majority of auditions for top orchestras, meaning that now, if anything, the auditioning process supports the conclusion that women are better classical musicians than men. Clearly what was happening before was that, in ways no one quite realized, the act of seeing a given musician play was impairing the listener's ability to actually hear what a musician was playing. People's feelings about women, as a group, were interfering with their ability to evaluate music."
...As far as Christie's and the work of men selling for so much more than women, unfortunately there's no way for auction houses to put up screens, as it were, because the pieces are being sold for so much money largely due to the clout and reputation of the artists who created the work. But it does get one to thinking about the various shows and rounds of jurying that occur on a continual basis--would anything change if no name were included with submissions by emerging artists? Don't get me wrong, I think things are improving--at least where I've been paying attention, which is within the photography world--and as more female innovators like Jen Bekman rise to the top I can only hope that the playing field will level out--that the best, regardless of gender, will receive the accolades they deserve.'
What I wrote above is perhaps essentially impossible to put into practice, and potentially detrimental in other ways (art is often about context, and a body of work might need to be seen as a meditation on a person's race or gender, whereas the playing of music can be seen in some ways as more "objective" and thus can be done anonymously). But as an intellectual exercise I think it raises some thought-provoking questions. Thank you Michael for getting me thinking.
I'm back from Portland and attempting to settle into my daily routine. James and I had a wonderful trip--the show looked great (thanks to Laura Valenti and Chris Bennett of Newspace), opening night was fun, and I actually liked giving an artist talk, go figure. I also enjoyed hearing Bryan Wolf talk about his work and approach to photographing his own children. He doesn't have a large online presence but I can assure you that his images are beautiful and haunting; I'll be putting up some snapshots I took of his pictures on the wall when I have a chance--for now I just wanted to get a post up quickly before more time passed. It was also fantastic to get the chance to hang out with the gorgeous Melanie Flood and her husband Matt (they moved out West a few months ago from Brooklyn), and to meet Shawn Records, fellow Washington University grad Lauren Henkin, and Jake Stangel at the opening (am I forgetting anyone? If so, apologies). Thanks to everyone who came to support the show. More in a moment...