New Directions 2010: Down + Out
February 4 - 27, 2010
Congratulations to the following award winners for Down + Out:
Best of Show: Andrew Binkley
Juror’s Statement - Carol McCusker, Curator of Photography at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego
Down + Out actualized itself through those photographs that not only satisfied the call, but caught time, light, and subject matter from unique vantage points. This is certainly true for Andrew Binkley’s Crossings, a time-lapse series that looks down at a ghostly array of people riding mopeds, conversing, and buying and selling vegetables in an Asian street. Against a concrete ground, the figures swirl, interlock, and dance through one another in a loose knot of muted color and graceful form. Other photographs, such as Charles Blackburn’s Detroit dam is disorienting to the same degree that his sunlit baseball field from shaded bleachers is familiar; the combination of the two makes the whole. Adam Jacono gives a near/far view simultaneously, with the placement of patches of color evocative of Milton Avery. Robbie Acklen’s and Michael Seif’s sensual swimmers, and Charles Mintz’s evaporating highrises hold enough odd beauty in their familiarity, as does Nathan Lunstrum’s minimalist snowscape and Emily Nathan’s surfers, to make us see the extraordinary in common vistas.
Through thoughtful composition, each photographer introduces patterns, foreshortening, a sense of dislocation, and motion from odd perspectives that would make the avant-garde artist, Alexander Rodchenko, proud. His revolutionary call to “make strange” the everyday reinvigorated Russian art. “Leave Rubens behind!” he declared. “Make objects unfamiliar and forms difficult.” The photographers in Down + Out have successfully done so, thereby increasing the “length of perception” Rodchenko championed, and consequently our enjoyment.
About Down + Out
23 Sandy Gallery is pleased to host a traveling exhibition organized by wall space gallery in Seattle and juried by Carol McCusker, Curator of Photography at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, California. New Directions 2010, Down + Out seeks to challenge our notions of our visual landscape. Curated from over 1,000 submitted images, and a pool of 200 talented artists, the field has been narrowed to a select group of images to showcase imaginative vertical and horizontal perspectives.
The idea behind Down + Out brings to mind a quote from art historian, Albert Boime, who described a “magisterial gaze” that gave early Americans, through painting and printmaking, a view at one with God, hence, manifest destiny. The idea of distance, of visual space, may simply be the romance of the road, or curiosity about what lies just out of sight—an American impulse from early pioneers to Jack Kerouac.
Numerous painters and photographers have employed these vantage points—subsequently, they run the risk of cliché. When done well, however, each reveals the unexpected. As McCusker notes, “The optimist in me delights at the disorienting perspective of looking down whereby familiar objects become abstract and dizzyingly beautiful, to looking out, with that forward motion promising adventure or escape.”
The exhibition is presented by wall space gallery in Seattle and will run there January 5 through January 27, 2010. In February, the exhibition travels to Portland to 23 Sandy Gallery, opening on February 5 and continuing until February 27, 2010.
Down + Out features 42 photographers including four from Portland: Chris Bennett, Heidi Bertman, Jeffrey Krolick and Duc Ly. The show will also feature a strong international contingent, including artists from Mexico, England, Israel and Argentina.
About Carol McCusker
Carol McCusker is curator of photography at the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. in art history with an emphasis on the history of photography and film history at the University of New Mexico (UNM), Albuquerque. She has curated numerous exhibitions at MoPA and UNM, and is contributing author to Paul Outerbridge (Taschen, 1999); First Photographs: William Henry Fox Talbot and The Birth of Photography (powerHouse, 2002); James Fee: The Peleliu Project (Seraphin, 2002); Phil Stern: A Life's Work (powerHouse, 2003); Terry Falke: Observations in an Occupied Wilderness (Chronicle, 2006); and Breaking the Frame: Pioneering Women in Photojournalism (MoPA, 2006) The Roads Most Traveled: Migration Photographs by Don Bartletti (2006), Rebels & Revelers: Experimental Decades 1970s-1980s (2007), Public Privacy: Wendy Richmond's Surreptitious Cellphone (2007), and The Photographer's Eye (2008)
McCusker’s freelance writing has been published in The Photo Review, Communication Arts, and she is a regular contributor to B&W and Color magazines. In recent years, McCusker has reviewed portfolios at Houston Fotofest, Review Santa Fe, Photo L.A., Atlanta Celebrates Photography, Photo Lucida, and in November, the Lishui Photo Festival, China. She was also a nominator for the 2009 ICP Infinity Awards, and a Juror for the 2008 Julia Dean Berenice Abbott Award.
About wall space gallery
wall space is a gallery focused on photography, featuring new and emerging artists. The gallery opened in 2004 in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle, showcasing local and national talents. wall space promotes artists with unique and creative visions in photography, using both traditional and alternative techniques. Showcasing artists who transcend the medium, looking to expand the photographic arts, the gallery highlights creativity in storytelling. Visit the wall space gallery web site here.
Above image Top Row: © Sarah Sharp, Andrew Binkley, Alejandro Cartagena
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