Wednesday, January 20, 2010

“Godowsky Color Photography Awards” at PRC

From our review of the “Godowsky Color Photography Awards” exhibit at the Photographic Resource Center:
Back in October, Minnesota photographer Alec Soth spoke at MassArt. "Facebook: 15 billion uploaded photos," he said. "At its busiest, 550,000 images each second being uploaded. So I've been struggling with that. How do I function as a photographer in that environment?"

Soth was channeling a deep anxiety in art photography today. It's a golden age, particularly for the democratization of the medium. But much as the rise of photography in the early 20th century made realist painting seem superfluous, the abundance of digital photography today can make realist photography feel redundant. So art photographers are left frustrated and looking for less traveled territory.

That search has hastened a reconsideration of the medium that art photographers have pursued since the height of "Decisive Moment" documentary photography at mid century. Since then, they've favored formal posed portraits (often shot with old-style cameras), offhand snapshots, and ever more complex digital manipulation. Recent exhibits at Boston University's Photographic Resource Center have highlighted formal experiments in which photographs become like graphs charting the movement of stars or the major colors in compositions.

The PRC's current show honoring four winners of the Leopold Godowsky Jr. Color Photography Awards, which the Center organizes, finds artists pushing photography ever more into fiction.
Read the rest here.

“Godowsky Color Photography Awards” Photographic Resource Center, 832 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Nov. 13, 2009, to Jan. 24, 2010.

Pictured from top to bottom:
Alejandro Chaskielberg, "The Scape," 2008; Nicholas Kahn and Richard Selesnick, "Ice Yacht," 2009; Curtis Mann, "Abstract, Soldier (Baghdad, Iraq)," 2008; and Claudia Angelmaier, "La petite Baigneuse," 2008.


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