Body

A juried international photography exhibition

November 25 – December 15, 2014

Debbie Notkin & Tracy Blackstone
Hands of Ford and Melinda Evans No. 3
Queensberry Street
Sea
Self
Copenhagen Endorphins No. 7
Arch of Light
Nude No. 204
Body Nature No. 1
Under the Surface
En Pointe
After Midnight
Descent
Untitled
Paeonia 1 & 2
Cavity
Untitled Sabbath No. 1
Landscape Diaries
Untitled
Ouch
Still Unravished Bride
Left Overs
Grumps
Mother And Father Earth

The human body has been the central subject of various photographic genres. From documentary, event and street photography to fashion photography and the nude, photographers have always found ways of constructing images in which the specific portrayal of the human body gains significance. That significance may stem from the rich layers of meanings emerging from specific socio-cultural contexts, the visual interaction of the human body with the surrounding physical space, or the intriguing compositional possibilities offered by the body itself. Some explore movements, study expressive gestures and postures, some concentrate on the anatomical beauty, some narrate whole lives through the depiction of the human body. Others may offer stern visual criticism of our normative conceptions of the human body and the ways it is portrayed in mainstream Western media.

 

 

Exhibiting photographers:

 

Michael Bach (Troy, NY, USA), Robin Butter (The Hague, Netherlands), Ekaterina Bykhovskaya (Strasbourg, France), Karen Divine (Boulder, CO, USA), Laurie Toby Edison (San Francisco, CA, USA), Britta Egebjerg (Aarhus, Denmark), Pamela Fingerhut (Scottsdale, AZ, USA), Anthony Gordon (Toronto, Canada), Celeste Guidice (Nashua, NH, USA), Kip Harris (Indian Harbour, Canada), Ralph Hassenpflug (Camden, ME, USA), Lucas James (Milford, NH, USA), Kally Malcom (Jacksonville, FL, USA), Helen McGhie (London, UK), Alexander Mendelevich (Tel Aviv, Israel), Trevor Messersmith (Marlboro, NY, USA), Pablo Murillo (San José, Costa Rica), Marisa Nunes (Lisbon, Portugal), Kathryn Oliver (Rockport, ME, USA), Clair Robins (Leicester, UK), Russ Rowland (New York, NY, USA), Starling Dominique Sensing (Nashville, TN, USA), Caleb Stein (New York, NY, USA), Jennifer-Christin Wolf (Hennef, Germany), Guanyu Xu (Chicago, IL, USA)

 

Please click on the names to see contact information (website or e-mail) where available.

 

 

Read the juror's review here.

 

Read the opening remarks (in Hungarian) here.

 

Preview the exhibition catalogue here.

 

 

 

Body

Juror’s review

 

It is always inspiring to see how photographers approach an exhibition theme from different creative angles. Photographic depictions of the human body range from the aesthetic through the documentary to mystic uncertainty, renewing, commenting on or criticising received modes of expression.

 

Laurie Toby Edison’s Debbie Notkin & Tracy Blackstone is the juror’s choice of this exhibition. This complex image incorporates several layers of photographic meaning. Our initial reaction to the calm composition might be to contemplate the symmetry of the image and the captivating texture of the curtain that takes up a significant portion of the photograph, providing an excellent nonfigurative background for the shapes of the two women on the couch. The lighter inner part of the two sides of the curtain lead our eyes down to the two figures emerging from the darker shades of the blanket on the couch. As we are drawn to the faces, it might even take some time to realize that the two bodies are in the nude. Indeed, it is one of the most powerful aspects of this image that nudity is portrayed in such a “natural” and subdued manner that it goes without saying – almost even without registering on our perception. It may take some extra effort to understand why the nudity of the figures is not more salient, despite also being an identifying thematic and visual feature of the photograph. The secret might lie in the bright serenity in the look of the two women. Their expressions are filled with such joy and peacefulness that the image simply washes all received – and often oppressively reinforced – social conceptions of the human body light years away. Social criticism is delivered in a serious, beautifully composed but at the same time effortlessly cheerful photograph.

 

Honourable mention Hands of Ford and Melinda Evans No. 3 by Kip Harris focuses on the part of the body that is often overlooked for the sake of the face, despite its unique expressiveness. Closely observing the spotted hands of the elderly couple allows for strong visual associations with the hugging tendrils of a plant. The photograph tells a rich story of their intertwined lives. Trevor Messersmith’s Queensberry Street is a dreamlike image shot in a uniquely unidentifiable space of patches, strips and lines. The posture of the figure reveals nothing of the context of the here and now. His face and head smoothly vanish into the dark, leaving us with curiosity. The third honourable mention, Sea by Guanyu Xu is part of the series "Why do you have to kill me after taking my virginity?" The cold tonal range of the image is in harmony with the peacefully dreary scene, and is brutally disturbed by the warmth of the naked body. The already provocative visual and narrative content is further intensified by the pair of red socks that sharply focuses our visual attention and shapes our interpretive endeavour.

 

Michale Bach’s Self No. 4 portrays the body as curiously intangible. Under the Surface by Pamela Fingerhut defies categorization both visually and conceptually for the sake of a dynamic statement. Anthony Gordon’s En Pointe reminds us of shadow puppetry, a creative but mostly forgotten medium. The poetic Descent by Ralph Hassenpflug is a beautifully rhythmic composition and offers a surrealistic representation of the human body. Helen McGhie’s Cavity from the series “(M)other”  leans towards the nonfigurative while observing all the details. Pablo Murillo’s Right About The Usual Amount Of Damage achieves communicative depth with tight photographic conception. Landscape Diaries by Marisa Nunes is an eloquently and sensitively unsettling image, drawing us to contemplate the interplay of tone and pattern. Kathryn Oliver’s Untitled reinterprets photographic pictorialism with the psychological undertone of despair, while Russ Rowland’s almost abstract Still Unravished Bride also suggests a dark story yet to be revealed.

 

The photographs of this exhibition are rich in meanings; they are brave, and even provocative at times. They remain faithful to the spirit of photography as a most experimental endeavour.

 

Zsolt Bátori

 

 

 

 

Opening remarks by Kinga Abaffy, art and design theorist (in Hungarian)

 

Nem tudtam mit keresek

A test a lelket előzi meg

Azt hittem útban van

De mindenhol ott van

De ahol ott van leginkább:

Önmagamban

 

 

Ha a lélek kommunikálni akarna, minden bizonnyal a testtel tenné ezt. Nem pusztán azon képzetünk végett, mert ‘oda lett bezárva’, hanem azért is, mert nincs más választása.

 

 

Soha nem értettem, minek kell a test, ha csúfolnak; minek kell a test, ha dícsérnek. Valahogy egyik környezeti reakciót sem éreztem jogosnak – noha az egyiktől igazán képes voltam szenvedni, a másiktól pedig érzés nélkül létezni –, mintha a legbensőbb énem tökéletesen kívül helyezkedne ezen az egész tanult gyermeki formaversenyen, hogy aztán hiú, sértődött, egótól tocsogó énjét belátásra bírja. Időközben azonban kénytelen voltam rájönni, hogy a méltó emberi élethez szükséges feladat már gyerekkorban elkezdődik: az ének és a testek összeegyeztetése.

 

A test megkerülhetetlen. A test jelen van. A test ott van a maga könyörtelen és áldott, de mindenekelőtt valós anyagi megnyilvánulásával, hogy szövetségre lépve a lélekkel a szubsztancia és az érzékiség síkján táplálja önmagát.

A test – akár a fénykép – emlékeztető. Emlékeztet a létezésre, az élet lehetőségeire, az élet határaira. Ott van az érintésben, mert az érintéssel is csak emlékezik. Emlékezik saját és mások létére, hogy nincsen egyedül, hogy minden, ami körülveszi és amit körülvesz létezik. Ott van a fájdalomban, mert a fájdalom meg érintés, kapcsolat, kommunikáció a belsővel.

 

A fotográfia és a test furcsa, erős kapcsolata, hogy ez esetben a fotográfia valami olyasmit kíván leképezni, ami egyébként is rendkívül fontos számára, a láthatóságot. Azt láttatja, helyezi vizuális valóságának központi elemévé, kitörölhetetlen részévé, ami az egész emberből látható, a testet, mindazonáltal valami láthatatlant is rögzít egyszerre, aminek a test-lélek szinkronicitásából adódóan nem vagyunk tudatában.

Aminek médiuma (hogy felfedezhetővé váljon) talán éppen a fotográfia ága kell legyen, feltárva mindenkori kommunikációs szándékát, hogy élni akar.

 

 

 

 

Exhibition Catalogue

 

High quality (ProLine Pearl Photo paper) exhibition catalogue is published with Blurb Books. (Please note that for some reason Blurb's preview is low resolution. It is suitable for studying the design and layout of the catalogue, but it does not always present the photographs faithfully. The print catalogue, however, is professional high quality.)

 

 
 
 
  • Black Facebook Icon
  • Black Instagram Icon

Copyright © 20122020 PH21 Gallery

The copyright of each image on this site is held by the photographer.

Still Unravished Bride

Russ Rowland, 2011 Giclée print, 48 x 38 cm – Open ed.