A juried international photography exhibition
October 14 – November 3, 2014
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Urban spaces have always been significant sources of inspiration for photographers for a very good reason; the dwelling places of much of humanity provide intensified experiences of how we shape our environment and how we live in the environment we create for ourselves. Cities offer a bounty of visual stimuli for the eye and the camera to catch. The structural beauty of the still lines and shapes of the buildings and streets provide for exciting compositions. The ever-changing swirl of the streets challenges us to capture precious passing moments. Cities show an entirely different face during the day and with the lights on at night. There are endless ways of portraying the life of the inhabitants of cities, endless ways for photographers to construct their unique interpretations of what cities mean for them.
Ahmet Albayrak (Kayseri, Turkey), Tom Anastasio (New York, NY, USA), Tatiana Frolova (Moscow, Russia), Alan Gaynor (New York, NY, USA), Susan Herdman (Sarasota, FL, USA), Andy H. Jung (New York, NY, USA), Alex, Knudsen (Ipswich, MA, USA), Lodiza LePore (Bennington, VT, USA), Nicola Jayne Maskrey (London, UK), Alexander Mendelevich (Tel Aviv, Israel), Reena Nemirovsky (Rockland, ME, USA), Eugenio Opitz (Budapest, Hungary), Robert Reed (Honolulu, HI, USA), Jonathan Roskos (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Aoife Shanahan (Dublin, Ireland), Ji Young Shim (New York, NY, USA), Scott F. Speck (Baltimore, MD, USA), Caleb Stein (New York, NY, USA), Jude Watson (Sydney, Australia), Willem Wernsen (Amersfoort, Netherlands), Ross G. Williams (Horseheads, NY, USA), Sheung, Yiu (Hong Kong, China)
Please click on the names to see contact information (website or e-mail) where available.
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.)
The photographic portrayal of cities is an inexhaustible project, engaging one generation of photographers after another. As our cities develop and change, so do the ways of investigating the subject with a camera. The images of this exhibition show fresh and exciting approaches to the time-honoured subject.
The juror’s choice of this exhibition is Chicago No. 2 by Eugenio Opitz for a sensitively complex and beautifully composed image. The slight sepia tint immediately puts us in a mood of remoteness in time and space, looking at the city from a distance that renders details largely insignificant. The silhouette is all we can discern against the smoky background, and we need nothing more from our far away perspective. It might be tempting to move closer, yet at the moment we are most content with remaining the unengaged onlooker, observing and not participating. Indeed, there is much to notice. The zigzag in the icy foreground gently but firmly leads our eyes to the tallest building in the focal point of the skyline. The hard to identify little details and patterns of this pronounced part of the image are in strong contrast with the lighter, smooth and calm presence of the sky. The skyline of Chicago in between is rich with the lines and shapes of the silhouette above the horizon, gravitating towards the right, and diminishing into a thin line on the left. The powerful skyline tradition, however, is disrupted and reinterpreted by a second line of the beautifully rhythmic remnants of the long gone pier. It leads to the ruin of a construction that – for all we can tell – might have been an observing or loading post. This lone and defiant shape against the background in the left of the image powerfully echoes and balances the shapes of the buildings to the right. It does so with a dark undertone, as a memento to decline and decay.
Honourable mention No. 46 Bus (night), London by Nicola Jayne Maskrey presents a vivid, colourful impression of the city by night. The composition is shaped by motion itself, in a way we never actually see but often imagine or remember seeing a city. The person in the picture is faceless; she enters and then immediately exits our life, remaining a mere passing memory. Reena Nemirovsky’s Cityscape is the result of a creative and unique printing process. The image reinterprets our usual concept of cityscape, pushing it into the realm of dreamy impressions of dynamically swirling patches of colours. Balancing at the edge of recognition the image liberates us from the conservative imperatives of perception. The third honourable mention, The Accident by Caleb Stein captures an unfinished situation in an interesting composition. The stories of the two people in the picture run parallel, without any indication of convergence. Yet, we may still wonder about the moments following the one we can witness.
Ahmet Albayrak’s Resistance Days documents historic moments in Turkey with poetic realism. The two images from Tatiana Frolova’s “Moscow-City” series make a powerful case for emphasizing the graphic character of cityscapes. From 185 West End Ave, NYC by Alan Gaynor elevates high-rise patterns with a unique perspectival component. Alex Knudsen’s Untitled, New York is a beautifully unified composition despite its apparent unruliness and surprising angle. Tel Aviv's Girl with Bicycle by Alexander Mendelevich invites revisiting and multiple interpretations. Jonathan Roskos’ Woman and Boy on Bus captures one of those intimate moments we catch once in a while in the midst of the hurrying crowd. Escaping the Race by Aoife Shanahan creates a dark but still stimulating visual atmosphere for the escapee. Willem Wernsen’s Paris 1998 lets us experience a unique moment, emerging and quickly fading away.
Contemplating the witty and inspiring images of this exhibition makes us realize once again how significant urban photography is. The exhibition is also a powerful testament to the remarkable body of work of contemporary photographers.