A juried international photography exhibition
August 3 – 29, 2017
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Streets have always been a significant source of inspiration for photographers: the most public places in towns and cities of all size and type provide an intensified experience of how we shape our environment and how we live in the environment we have created for ourselves. Streets offer a bounty of visual stimuli for the eye and the camera to catch. Here we can observe much of the footprints of our culture, our society, as well as the unique and the personal. The ever-changing swirl of the streets challenges us to capture precious passing moments. There are endless ways of portraying the lives of city dwellers, endless ways for photographers to construct their unique interpretation of what streets mean for them.
Paul Kessel: Baden-Baden
Lee Atwell: 5th Avenue
Gábor Duró: León, Semana Santa No. 2
Sébastien Rannou: The Follower
Lee Atwell (Santa Fe, NM, USA), Nóra Balázs (Budapest, Hungary), Bruce Berkow (New York, NY, USA), Gediminas Bernotas (Vilnius, Lithuania), Hilde Charlotte Blomberg (Hemnes, Norway), Marco de Sarorce (Lille, France), Thouly Dosios (Los Angeles, CA, USA), Gábor Duró (Budapest, Hungary), Ximena Gonzalez Echague (Brussels, Belgium), Zsuzsanna Gámán (Budapest, Hungary), Barbara Harsch (Brussels, Belgium), Chris Jones (Dublin, Ireland), Paul Kessel (New York, NY, USA), Réka Komoli (London, UK), Attila Krányik (London, UK), Coco Martin (Lima, Peru), Rose Materdomini (New York, NY, USA), Trevor Messersmith (Marlboro, NY, USA), Federico Odello (Milan, Italy), Nancy Oliveri (New York, NY, USA), Khunya Lamat Pan (Austin, TX, USA), Thomas Pickarski (New York, NY, USA), Anil Purohit (Mumbai, India), Sébastien Rannou (Dublin, Ireland), Anna Rejmer (Kołobrzeg, Poland), Les Schmidt (New Orleans, LA, USA), Liliana Schwitter (Basel, Switzerland), Philippa Stannard (Perugia, Italy), Emma Sywyj (London, UK), Ilya Trofimenko (Dresden, Germany), Zoltán Vadászi (Budapest, Hungary), Tamás Vasvári (Székesfehérvár, Hungary), Denisa Velicu (Bucharest, Romania), Maarten Vromans (Rotterdam, Netherlands), Maurizio Zanetti (Verocna, Italy)
Please click on the names to see contact information (website or e-mail) where available.
Street photography is one of the most widely practised genres of the medium and, for this very reason, it is also one of the most difficult ones. It takes a keen eye and a sharp mind to notice and capture the unique and significant beyond the common and everyday.
The juror’s choice of this exhibition is Paul Kessel’s Baden-Baden. The image presents a bubble in time and space with sociological and psychological complexities on par with the in-depth study of human relationships we usually encounter in novels or art movies. The rich complexity of Baden-Baden is further supported and reinforced by the photographic composition of the image. On the surface all we can observe is a well-off couple past their middle age, seated in an outdoor restaurant or café. The title reveals that they are in a historical German vacation town for spa, tennis, golf and skiing enthusiasts. Based on this extra-pictorial information and the visible attributes of affluence one might expect to see people who enjoy their life. However, this is precisely what we do not get from this image. The man looks sullen and dissatisfied at the same time; he seems to be burnt out and utterly bored with looking at yet another classy menu. His partner is not joining him in this activity. She is looking away but her thoughts do not seem to be dwelling on their surroundings. She is disconnected from the here and now, contemplating perhaps a different life. She is automatically leaning away from his routinely possessive gesture of embrace. The diverging direction of their gaze is the driving force of the composition of the photograph; it almost tears the image into two separate pieces, adding further complexities to what the couple’s facial expressions betray.
The first honourable mention in the exhibition is 5th Avenue by Lee Atwell. What gives the image its compositional and communicative strength is based on the disconnection and tension between the two sides of the photograph. Both sides present their own interpretive mysteries but our initial speculations are likely to fail when we are faced with the task of joining the two separate parts into one meaningful unit. Gábor Duró’s León, Semana Santa No. 2 provides an elegant combination of the reflections in the background of the image with the rhythmic pattern in the foreground. The uneven rhythm of the wine glasses is repeated in the thorns of the crown, while the painted image of Jesus is looking at the viewer from an obscured, behind and below the table top position. The Follower by Sébastien Rannou presents what may be called a classic street photography topos with a unique compositional solution. The centred position of the two men in their respective backgrounds is the result of perfect timing, and the shadow of the follower in the sunlit rectangle on the cobble-stoned street offers yet another visual adventure for the eye.
Family out for a Walk by Nóra Balázs is an architectural image with brutalist overtones and also with a touch of human presence. Gediminas Bernotas’ The Call combines reflections, rhythmic patterns and outdated phone booths into an image in which the solitary figure breaks the symmetry. Summer Frolicking by Thouly Dosios relies on the dynamism of the playful movements of children against the stern background of a wall. Capturing a telling moment in the true spirit of street photography opens up a number of possible interpretations in Zsuzsanna Gámán’s LOVE me / Forever. Chris Jones’ masterful portrayal of a young man in the foreground of the street crowd is based on the subject’s grotesquely troubled facial expression in his Man in Wall Street. Night lights and dark tones create a rhythmic tension in On the Way Home by Attila Krányik. Rose Materdomini’s On a Walk has a surrealistic character while his subject creates the impression of moving, akin to that of a moving image. Carstack by Nancy Oliveri finds photographic beauty in less than beautiful industrial components. Khunya Lamat Pan’s The Tall Woman is one of those rare captures when the movements of a woman’s body and her dress are in perfect harmony against a blurred graphic background. The series “Side B” by Philippa Stannard is based on a concept that is put into a visually unified photographic solution. Tamás Vasvári balances geometrical rigour with the fluidity of a young kid’s movement in his Waiting for a Mate.
This exhibition is an excellent reminder of how diverse creative photographic expression is. It is not the genre that determines the artistic and photographic qualities of an image but the concept of the photographer and the visual execution of that concept. Street photography is yet another field for such endeavours.