A world beyond
A juried international photography exhibition
May 2–20, 2015
Photographic images may depict what was in front of the camera at the time of exposure with a high degree of faithfulness to the visual properties of the scene. So-called realistic portrayal is, indeed, important for a number of photographic genres. Photographers, however, often strive for something different, something that goes beyond mere photographic documentation; they put the medium to creative use to lead us to imagine and explore worlds beyond what has actually been recorded by the camera. Complex psychological and social relations, imaginary worlds, real and fictive stories, or even abstract contemplations are all engaging photographic subjects, making photography a uniquely versatile communicative and artistic medium. It is the imagination of the photographer that creates rich complexities for our interpretation which, in turn, take us beyond the visual recognition (or the lack of thereof) of what is depicted in the picture.
Steve Short: Confrontation
Brut Carniollus: Demolition
Ralph Hassenpflug: Lost
Kit Leighton: We Hoped for Shelter
Russ Rowland: Moonlight Dream Date
Giovanni Armenio (Milan, Italy), Jim Baab (Somerville, MA, USA), Brut Carniollus (Radovljica, Slovenia), Marilyn Carren (Edinburg, TX, USA), Heidi Clapp-Temple (Lithia, FL, USA), Ronan Considine (Vancouver, Canada), Hazel Davies (Hampshire, UK), Yuxiang Dong (Rochester, NY, USA), Claude Peschel Dutombe (Bangkok, Thailand), Cecil Eciam Gresham (Bloomfield, CT, USA), Ralph Hassenpflug (Camden, ME, USA), Florence Iff (Zurich, Switzerland), Lena Källberg (Årsta, Sweden), Minho Kim (Seoul, South Korea), Kit Leighton (Bath, UK), Lodiza LePore (Bennington, VT, USA), Oksana Moroziuk (Moscow, Russia), Nancy Oliveri (New York, NY, USA), PAZSINT (Pittsburgh, PA, USA), Kanthy Peng (Chicago, IL, USA), Mary C. Rhodomoyer (Glenside, PA, USA), Russ Rowland (New York, NY, USA), Steve Short (West Midlands, UK), Javier Villar Morales (Zaragoza, Spain), Tracy Wascom (Marquette, MI, USA), Sherre Wilson-Liljegren (Siasconset, MA, USA)
Please click on the names to see contact information (website or e-mail) where available.
A world beyond
The photographers of this exhibition have created and explored photographic meanings that go beyond what is depicted, beyond what is perceived with our eyes. In order to uncover the rich layers of meanings of these images we must follow the photographers in a variety of creative endeavours.
The juror’s choice is Confrontation by Steve Short. The photograph invites us to the always mysterious world of silhouettes. Our attention is focused on the simultaneous confrontation and cooperation of the two dominating colours; they are both competing for our attention as we appreciate the exciting simplicity of the otherworldly landscape. The colours black and blue also complement each other in producing a strong, characteristic composition. We soon discover that in order to interpret the photograph we need to ask a number of questions: is it a landscape as it appears to be at first sight, or is it a scene from a puppet show, staged specifically for our entertainment? At its most prosaic, the strange metal construction on the left appears to be a water tower; however, it may also pass for a spaceship from a science fiction movie, approached by the tiny silhouettes of a dog and two people. Who are they, what is their story preceding and following the moment we are just witnessing? What are they going to do once they reach the construction, and what is the nature of the confrontation that is indicated by the title of the image? There are many possible answers to these questions, and the answers will point at worlds beyond that which is available for our epistemic inquiry. Those worlds beyond choose to remain mysterious and beyond our reach.
The first honourable mention is Demolition by Brut Carniollus. The image leads us into an understated space, almost invisible in the all-encompassing darkness. Because of this, it is very difficult to get a grasp of its spatial properties. We would like to step through this uncertainty, but the world beyond does not promise us anything more palpable, either. Ralph Hassenpflug’s Once I Was Lost is set in a surreal world in black and white that is soft, blurry, but also cold and hostile at the same time. Being hopelessly lost in this world is emphasized by bodily posture, facial expression, and the direction of his gaze. The swinging bag grabs and holds our attention; its blurred motion is almost hypnotic. The third honourable mention is We Hoped for Shelter by Kit Leighton. This fragile image takes us on a trip into a borderland where we say farewell to that which is recognisable and embrace the abstract. With an intense composition and captivating tones Leighton gently leaves the real behind for a most tranquil and inviting world beyond.
Associate’s choice Moonlight Dream Date by Russ Rowland is an image from a dream indeed, and a most unusual one at that with its strict composition based on a unique rhythm of horizontal lines. Heidi Clapp-Temple’s Land of Odd is a land of subtle dancing figures, floating in their beautifully coloured space. The images from the series “Dreams of a Distant Place” by Claude Peschel Dutombe invite us to explore figures, objects and places of mythical origin and location with powerful colours and unique perspectives. Florence Iff’s “Insight-Out” series consist of images of strong composition, providing reflexive insight into the places under scrutiny. The “New Shadow” series by Lena Källberg presents shadow and shadowy along each other, revealing exciting connections and continuities between the two. Nancy Oliveri’s Morphogenesis surprises us with colours of a world beyond that insist on breaking through in an almost uniformly white world. Abstractions No. 1 by Mary C. Rhodomoyer is a world of creative construction where the viewer’s eyes can travel along various dynamic paths. Javiar Villar Morales’ The Mourner is a deep and painfully participating glimpse into a life lost as a result of the loss of someone who used to be an integral part of it.
The world beyond, under this or other possible names and formulations, has been a captivating an inspiring theme for photographers. It has been a pleasure to review and present some truly creative contemporary articulations of this topic.
High quality (ProLine Pearl Photo paper) exhibition catalogue is published with Blurb Books.