Unexpected

A juried international photography exhibition

April 2–22, 2015

 

 

 

We live much of our lives in familiar situations and surroundings, and that holds true for our natural, built as well as our social environment. We need to rely on the known and the recognizable to be able go about our daily routines. Some photographs help us in these everyday pursuits through depicting, portraying and documenting the world around us. Photography, however, may also surprise us by presenting that which is unusual, distracting or even disturbing. These images give us a pause as they demand a larger share of our attention and interpretive efforts. They might be unexpected for various reasons in terms of their content or composition; they all, however, originate in a creative photographic decision to present the world in a way that departs from the mundane ordinariness and familiarity of the default.

 

Juror's choice

Philippa Stannard: Distance No. 1

 

Honourable mentions

Thomas LaddSan Carlos, Ecuador

Susan ResslerShiekh

Georg WoreckiDucks-Configuration

 

Associate's choice

Susan KeiserWaking is Another Dream No. 3

 

Exhibiting photographers

Tamás Bernáth (Budapest, Hungary), Khalil Charif (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), Benjamin Deaton (Little Rock, AR, USA), Erik Austin Deerly (Kokomo, IN, USA), Geoff Delanoy (Baltimore, MD, USA), Johan Entchev (Helsinki, Finland), Susan Keiser (Ossining, NY, USA), Josiane Keller (Salzburg, Austria), Thomas Ladd (North Easton, MA, USA), Lodiza LePore (Bennington, VT, USA), Dan McCormack (Accord, NY, USA), Trevor Messersmith (Marlboro, NY, USA), Hayato Mizutani (Hamburg, Germany), Rebecca Moseman (Purcellville, VA, USA), Greg Norstrom (Somerville, MA, USA)Btihal Remli (Wermelskirchen, Germany), Susan R. Ressler (Taos, NM, USA), Robert Rutöd (Vienna, Austria), Philippa Stannard (Perugia, Italy), Georg Worecki (Kaarst, Germany), Lilla Zsitnyánszky (Budapest, Hungary)

 

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

 

Read the juror's review here.

 

Preview the exhibition catalogue here.

 

 

 

 

Unexpected

Juror’s review

 

Although many uses of photography are based on our need for relying on the portrayal of the usual in proven and familiar ways, photographers often surprise us with unexpected themes, interpretations or compositions.

 

Juror’s choice Distance No. 1 by Philippa Stannard is part of a series, of which two other photographs were also included in the exhibition. Each photograph presents the same line of four telephone booths in a tightly cropped composition, showing just the four booths and the dividing partition walls between them. The resulting striped images yield a powerful arrangement when several pieces of the series are installed in a vertical row on a gallery wall. The viewer is in the position of looking into all the booths, while the partition walls prevent those inside the booths from seeing one another. They all have their unique individual stories, but let us concentrate on the single image Distance No. 1. The monotonous rhythm of the stripes of the boots is upset by showing two public telephones on the right and two women on the left, almost covering the phones behind them. This imbalance is further intensified by the unusual connection between the two women. While they are immersed in their own activities, they are also touching the partition wall on its two sides but at the same height, almost as if touching each other’s hand. The intimacy of the moment, however, is visible to the outside observer only. While contemplating this unusual arrangement we may also realise that the person on the far left is talking on a mobile phone in the public phone booth. The image is rich in surprising subtle details, we just need to take the time to explore them.

 

The first honourable mention went to Thomas Ladd’s San Carlos, Ecuador. We are taken aback by the sharp tension between the bright artificial colours of the abandoned building and the colours of nature all around. The odd shape of the barren rock behind the building presents yet another visual layer to the complex image. Susan Ressler’s Shiekh is a vibrant composition of shapes, lines and colours.  We can follow the zigzagging lines of the stairs, rails, shadows and walls in a rich and unsettling geometrical composition. The silhouette of the head of the male figure against the washed out white background, however, leads our zigzagging gaze quite unexpectedly straight out of the image. The third honourable mention, Ducks-Configuration by Georg Worecki offers a great variety of interpretations based on the mere identification of the visual elements of the image. These possible creative interpretations, however, immediately become difficult as we realise how the scene portrayed resists straightforward interpretations and remains fundamentally ambiguous.

 

Associate’s choice Waking Is Another Dream No. 3 by Susan Keiser recalls the tragedies in the real and/or imaginary worlds of childhood, with a quirky twist on the age-old opheliaesque theme of combining women and water. Tamás Bernáth’s provocative Coolagh, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland elicits a mixed response of surprise, fear and curiosity. Inventory No. 17 by Khalil Charif captures an unusual collection of objects in a distressing location. Johan Entchev’s Untitled works show how ordinary scenes may be turned into unexpected photographic interpretations. Dan McCormack’s nudes are at home, where nude is common but not commonly portrayed. Hayato Mizutani invites us to consider his work, Big tree as one single piece and two separate photographs at the same time. Salt Marsh by Greg Norstrom is the result of an exciting experimental example of reinterpreting landscape photography. Btihal Remli’s The Opening incorporates the insights of street and documentary photography with staged approaches. Untitled, from the series “Right Time, Right Place” by Robert Rutöd presents a rich and puzzling story that is further enriched by the strong colour composition of the photograph.

 

This exhibition provides us with beautifully unexpected themes, compositions and interpretations; it invites us to contemplate the rewards that lie in wandering off the well-trodden path of our routine ways of seeing.

 

Zsolt Bátori

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.)

 
 
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