Thursday, July 19, 2007Home

A different philosophy for jurying competitions

Darius Himes (CameraArts September/October 2006) has been keeping busy—on top of teaching at the College of Santa Fe, and editing the photo-eye Booklist, he has juried the Newspace Center for Photography's 3rd Annual National Juried Exhibition, "Among Us and Curious." In the brief time that we were lucky enough to work with him, Darius proved that his unique view of photography, and the myriad ways in which the book can be presented, has a tendency to fire the imagination of his readers. On the Newspace web site, Himes offers his unique approach to this recently concluded competition (thanks Swannie!).

Independence of individual thought and action--that child of the moral revolutions and technological innovations of the 2oth century--permeate the Western world and have made in-roads to more closed societies. The sheer variety of images that we witness today is due more to a belief that ALL voices have a rightful place in the world than anything else. Filters and "the critical lens" are a necessity, now more than ever, when it comes to imbibing and coercing meaning from the sea of work out there.

Thirty-five images from thirty-two photographers are included in this show, culled from over 2,000 images. My approach to jurying this show was neither to survey the field and present a cross-section of "what's happening" nor was it to award artists for the "Best Images in Show." Rather, I looked at the work in front of me and allowed a loose narrative, an unspoken and enigmatic script to emerge. Each of the photographs included have their own merit and play a contributing role in the unity of the show.

The diversity of the entries strikes the viewer immediately, but Himes makes it clear that he's aiming for more than a "Greatest Hits" take on 21st century photographic styles. Instead, we are meant to view these collections in the context of how one progresses to the other. Surely it is not meant to appeal to everyone. Scroll down on this
same page to see images from the winners, and a list of websites for all finalists. Tell us what you think.

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