A juried international photography exhibition
February 18 – March 15, 2016
Photography is often said to be a medium that is most effective when it comes to capturing moments of significance, and there is certainly some truth to this. The significant moment preserved in a photograph may be captured in various ways, from freezing motion to exploring and documenting how a particular series of events is unfolding in front of the camera. Some moments are important in the social and private lives of people, and we often encounter captivating situations or have a flashing impression of a timeless still life in our natural or built environment. It is the photographer who, by taking a picture, defines what a significant moment is, and how it is transformed from the momentary and immediately passing into that which is noticed and preserved.
Daniel Agra (Coruña, Spain), Jeff Beekman (Tallahassee, FL, USA), Bruce Berkow (New York, NY, USA), Hsien-Chih Chuang (Taipei, Taiwan), Matthew Dols (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), Gary Duehr (Boston, MA, USA), Birte Frey (Budapest, Hungary), Zsuzsanna Gámán (Budapest, Hungary), Kelsy Gossett (Wichita, KS, USA), Kathleen Gulley (New York, NY, USA), István Hainer (Sopron, Hungary), Emma Horning (Emmaus, PA, USA), Kei Ito (Baltimore, MD, USA), Allan S. Kliger (Toronto, Canada), Audrey Krako (Horsham, UK), Dmitry Kupriyan (Kiev, Ukraine), Marija Labudovich Pantelich (Belgrade, Serbia), Amir Lavon (Afula, Israel), Joanna Madloch (Montclair, NJ, USA), Trevor Messersmith (Marlboro, NY, USA), Raheleh Mohammad (Cleveland, OH, USA), Nancy Oliveri (New York, NY, USA), Eugenio Opitz (Budapest, Hungary), Kinga Owczennikow (Nowa Ruda, Poland), Mirna Pavlovic (Zagreb, Croatia), Claude Rouyer (Tervuren, Begium), Russ Rowland (New York, NY, USA), Carla Royal (Chattahoochee Hills, GA, USA), Heather M. Schmaedeke (Washington, DC, USA), Adam Socki (Houston, TX, USA), Stefan Speidel (Tokyo, Japan), Laszlo Steven Stanley (Wellesley, MA, USA), Nabil Tazi (Montpellier, France), Jürgen Völkl (Vienna, Austria)
Please click on the names to see contact information (website or e-mail) where available.
Moments in our lives gain significance because we perceive them to be special in one way or another. Photographers attach special importance to moments by selecting and recording some of them out of countless others. It is always interesting to take a closer look at what makes some of these choices, and the resulting photographic records, outstanding in their class.
The juror’s choice is Beach Day by Russ Rowland. Appreciating this image is quite an adventure in that it defies our expectations about traditional photographic genres and styles. Should we approach the picture as if it was a family vacation photo taken on the beach? We might as well categorize it that way; however, the image of a dog-headed woman may not fit in smoothly with the rest of the photos in the family album. Is this a funny portrait of the family pet then? It may be, but surely, there must be dozens of better shots that focus on the cute little darling. The moment is unique indeed, but not for the reasons why we appreciate family album photos. If we study the image we can discover some of the generic beach photograph elements. The sand, the water and the sky create a pleasing vertical division. There are two small ships on the horizon; there is a swimmer and also a young woman running out of the water towards the viewer. The image has many of the standard elements of a holiday shot, yet this ordinary summery-beachy setup is disturbed and complicated both thematically and visually by the body of the dog-headed woman in her ornate swimsuit. She does not fit. The dog does not fit either, and not only anatomically. The smiling woman is running out of the sea, in a kind of Baywatch-style, straight into the absurd world of a lady posing for a visual pun with her dog. We are left with a puzzle, and need to go back to take a look at the pieces again.
The first honourable mention, Paris Umbrellas by Gary Duehr is an image with a surprising depth. The world of the visitors in the gallery space and the world of the figures with umbrellas in the painting merge into one continuous space for the viewer of the photograph. The moment of illusory blending is so effectively captured that it is difficult to tell who is watching whom. The significant moment of Zsuzsanna Gámán’s Albertina is located in the upper left corner, and the composition is balanced by the architectural elements in the bottom right. The intimate and private moment of the couple is set against the impersonal life of the city and the bareness of their physical surroundings. The third honourable mention is Melancholia No. 3 by Mirna Pavlovic. This image reflects on pictorialism in photography by combining the remnants of the paintings on the walls with the picturesque ruins of the decaying building. The visual qualities of the resulting composition create an ambiguous balance of the graphic and the photographic.
Jeff Beekman’s Slaughter Pen No. 2 (Troiani's Irish Brigade) is part of an experimental series connecting moments of the past with those of the present through photographic images. Wake Up (Dwight and Novelene) by Kelsy Gossett explores the first moments of the day when we are vulnerable and not yet ready for being presented to the public. István Hainer’s Noir creates its mood with the composition of architectural elements, lights and shadows. Hometown by Audrey Krako takes us to a place where all would look rather bleak if it was not for that welcoming smile in the window. It is the sudden brutality of war that we can grasp by looking at Dmitry Kupriyan’s The next moment. The indifferently diverging gazes define a scattered and unsettling journey for our eyes when looking at Madam Butterfly by Amir Lavon. Joanna Madloch’s Serenity lets us observe private moments from the distanced perspective of an outsider. We may truly get lost in the meditative peace of an eternal moment in Slow Boat to Nowhere No. 2 by Carla Royal. Stefan Speidel’s Faster! transforms the moment of motion into an almost abstract image of blurred forms.
We may have very different conceptions of why moments matter, and so do the photographers of this exhibition. What makes their images worthy of our attention is that it takes considerably more than just a moment to observe, interpret and appreciate them.