Tag Archives: Ascii

NAKED JUDGING: The 2012 Canteen Awards in Photography

Due date for this contest is December 30th!!

Canteen Magazine publisher, Stephen Pierson, contacted me recently about a ground breaking idea for a photography contest, NAKED JUDGING: The 2012 Canteen Awards in Photography.  Canteen is a highly respected magazine and Stephen has given this idea a lot of thought–the idea is to have a completely transparent contest, where judging is live, so that participants can experience the behind the scenes drama of how things are selected. All submissions will have some kinds of critique, and there will be a clear presentation of how all submission monies are spent.  I will be partnering with Canteen to provide the on-line exposure for the winners. This indeed, is a contest unlike any other…

Naked Judging: The 2012
Canteen Awards in Photography
Canteen magazine is holding our second photography contest
because of our general disdain for photography contests. They tend to be opaque
affairs that stifle dialogue—the winners are chosen, no one quite knows why,
and 99% of the participants are left without their entrance fee or an
explanation. The real winners are the organizations1 
that run and profit exorbitantly from them.

We are trying to do
something different. Namely, treat our participants as partners. We aim to be
fully transparent about the entire selection process, placing the judges’
criteria, biases, and disagreements on full, naked display. The result, we
hope, will be an honest and provocative conversation about photography.

To these ends, Naked
Judging: The 2012 Canteen Awards in Photography offers several novel features:
      
A live finale: The final
round of judging, featuring the top 25 submissions, will occur in front of a
live audience, and will be simultaneously streamed online. Prior to the winners
being selected, audience members (both in-person and online) can probe the
judges with questions.

      Every submission openly
critiqued:
Similar to our first photo contest, brief notes/critiques
from all judging rounds will be available on our website for every submission.
      
Longer-form critiques:
The winning submission and other select submissions will be the subject of
longer-form discussions and essays in the next print issue of Canteen magazine,
and through this contest’s official partner, Lenscratch.
In addition, select participants will be given the opportunity to publicly
respond to the judges’ comments.

     
Nonprofit model: We are
not only providing a low entry fee ($20 for 5 to 8 images, and $15 for
students), but we will document on our website how every dollar is spent. At
the contest’s conclusion, any profits will be refunded back to the entrants.

We hope not only that our
contest will produce a provocative dialogue about photography, but also that it
will nudge other organizations into adopting practices that are friendlier to
the community of photographers that they purport to represent.

For
questions and feedback email Stephen Pierson, Canteen’s Director.



Ewa Zebrowski: Finding Wyeth

Ewa Zebrowski‘s new book project takes a look at the quiet world of a master painter, revealing a sense of place, light, and New England sensibilities. Ewa’s wonderful limited edition artist’s book titled, Finding Wyeth, captures images of the Olson House located on the Cushing Peninsula in Maine, where for 30 years Andrew Wyeth created over 300 paintings, including his famous painting, Christina’s World.  The book comes in an edition of 20 and is available through Ewa: [email protected]


 I walked in, went upstairs, and suddenly I was startled.
There was another figure standing there.
It was me in a dusty mirror…
The reason I did it was that I wanted a portrait
of the dryness of the place,
that special sort of dryness of dead flies
that are left in a room that’s been closed for years.
                                                      Andrew Wyeth
                                           on painting The Revenant, 1949
The Olson House
 Andrew Wyeth spent a lot of
time 
some three  decades (1939-1968), at the Olson House (which belongs to the Farnsworth Art Museum)on the Cushing Peninsula in Maine, talking, sketching, painting, finding inspiration.


Alvaro and Christina Olson, the bother and sister who lived there, became his friends.  He used an upstairs room as his studio, where he painted over 300 paintings.  It was the view from a third story window that inspired his well known/iconic painting, Christina’s World.


I visited the empty house during the summer of 2010, a house filled with tangible emotion and light.  A house pregnant with stories and secrets.

       A bouquet of tangled wildflowers,
       tiny seashells in a bird’s
nest,
       empty glass canning jars,
peeling wallpaper
and silence,
the residue of so much emotion
in this old weathered wooden house
on a hill,
filled with light
and vanished dreams,
the black horse wandering lost,
the apples ripe on the ground.
                                                        
EMZ

Robert Rutoed: Right Time Right Place

The photographs of Robert Rutoed appeared on my visual radar
several years ago when I was introduced to his project, Less is More. The images made an impression that kept his name and photographs
in the forefront of my mental Rolodex – not an easy feat, as I look at a lot of
images on a daily basis. 
Robert is part of that wonderful European street shooter legacy that is so important in a world where technology keeps our heads down, where cell phones remove us from truly being engaged with each other.  And it’s this heads-down mentality that disassociates our connections with a world rich with small dramas. We need Robert’s photographs to make us realize what we are missing, and allow the levity of his work to not only see ourselves with amusement, but to simply, see ourselves.

What Robert brings to the contemporary photographic dialogue
is that intangible ability to see the world with a skewed lens – a lens that is
compassionate and at the same time, unkind. It is a lens that is the stuff of
operas and nightmares, comedies and slapstick. Robert finds that split second
of humor or truth telling and that instant of social documentation or absurdity
that makes us not only laugh at ourselves, but also laugh and feel embarrassed
all at the same time.  Or should I
say, at The Right Time.
Robert has a new book, Right Time Right Place, that releases this week, and I have the privilege of writing the foreword to this publication.
Robert  was born in Vienna and is a photographer and filmmaker. He created numerous
short feature films with screenings worldwide and his photographic work has been exhibited throughout Europe, the United States and Asia. Robert was recently the winner of the
New York Photo Award 2012 in the category Fine Art. His books included: Less Is More
(2009), grayscales, early b&w photographs (2010), Right Time Right
Place
(2012).
Right Time Right Place
Being at the right place at the right time is usually associated with
happiness and success. But what happens when we are at the right place
at the wrong time? Do we even know that this is the right place? And
what if it turns out that it is the wrong place after all? But the right
time!” – Whoever loses his orientation over this thought will get a
feeling for Robert Rutöd’s latest pictures. The Vienna-born photographer
wandered for five years through Europe and has proven to be a keen
observer with an often tragicomic view: The blind man who finds
orientation by putting his stick in a tram track, the helpless swan that
finds itself frozen to the vast stretch of ice, or the amputee operator
of a shooting range set up in a ruined building. It gets macabre with
the portraits of the Pope, Hitler and Mussolini decorating the labels of
wine bottles.


Kerry Skarbakka

Last year, Center awarded Kerry Skarbakka the 2011 Excellence in Teaching Award for his passion in the classroom. After experiencing his photographs and teaching philosophy, it appears that everyone would benefit from a semester with Kerry.  His high spirited photographs, thoughtful approach to his own image making, and profound understanding what it takes to give students an informed visual language in an “image-prolific” society, make him a force to be reckoned with. He was recently celebrated for his teaching in PDNedu.

We are a visual culture wherein photography has become an
exceedingly powerful form of communication. Moreover, the development of
digital technologies in the past ten years has wiped traditional artistic
boundaries away. As a result, it is now vital to educate students to have a
broader vision. As an artist, it is imperative to be aware of the language of
photography and to understand the responsibility image making has within our
culture. To be a successful communicator, it is necessary to learn the tools
and skills inherent within this practice. More importantly, is the
understanding of how to control the medium and apply its principles with
thought and sophistication.


He is a self processed  performance-based photographer, using his own body and physical prowess to create his images and video. He received his B.A. in Studio Art with an emphasis in Sculpture  from the University of Washington School of Art and his MFA in Photography from Columbia College in Chicago. Kerry’s work has been exhibited internationally in museums, galleries and art fairs. He has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, Fifty-One Fine Art Photography in Antwerp, Belgium, Irvine Contemporary in Washington DC, and Lawrimore Project in Seattle. His work has been exhibited at the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke, Virginia, Ahlen Art Museum, Ahlen Germany and the Warhol Museum. Publications include Aperture Magazine Afterimage, Art and America and ArtReview International Additionally, Skarbakka has received funding and support from the Creative Capital Foundation, the 1% for the Arts (City of Seattle), the Chicago Center for Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council. He is represented by Fifty One Fine Art Photography in Antwerp, Belgium and Contemporary Wing in Washington DC. Currently Kerry is faculty of Digital Media and Photographic Studies at Prescott College.

The Struggle to Right Oneself 

Philosopher Martin Heidegger described human existence as a process of perpetual falling, and it is the responsibility of each individual to catch ourselves from our own uncertainty. This unsettling prognosis of life informs my present body of work. I continually return to questions regarding the nature of control and its effects on this perceived responsibility, since beyond the basic laws that govern and maintain our equilibrium, we live in a world that constantly tests our stability in various other forms. War and rumors of war, issues of security, effects of globalization, and the politics of identity are external gravities turned inward, serving to further threaten the precarious balance of self, exaggerating negative feelings of control. 

This photographic work is in response to this delicate state. It comprises a culmination of thought and emotion, a tying together of the threads of everything I perceive life has come to represent. It is my understanding and my perspective, which relies on the shifting human conditions of the world that we inhabit. It’s exploration resides in the sublime metaphorical space from where balance has been disrupted to the definitive point of no return. It asks the question of what it means to resist the struggle, to simply let go. Or what are the consequences of holding on? 

Using myself as model and with the aid of climbing gear and other rigging, I photograph the body as it dangles from dangerous precipices or tumbles down flights of stairs. The captured gesture of the body is designed for plausiblity of action, which grounds the image in reality. However, it is the ambiguiy of the body’s position in space that allows and requires the viewer to resolve the full meaning of the photograph. Do we fall? Can we fly? If we fly then loss of control facilitates supreme control. 

It is necessary to point out that I do not consider myself a glorified stuntman; nor do I wish to become a sacrifice to art. Therefore, safety is an important factor, however the work does carry with it a potential risk of personal injury as I engage the moment. This is unavoidable as much of the strength of the images lie in the fact that they are all recorded on location. The images are layered with references to an experienced background in sculpture and painting, and the cinematic quality of the work suggests the influence of commercial film. The dimensions are important to establish a direct relationship between the image and viewer. 

The images stand as ominous messages and reminders that we are all vulnerable to losing our footing and grasp. Moreover, they convey the primal qualities of the human condition as a precarious balancing act between the struggle against our desire to survive and our fantasy to transcend our humanness.