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Thread: Exhibition help

  1. #11
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Exhibition help

    I think you're having a hard time because you're showing so many different kinds of work. That's basically a retrospective, and would be served by a very broad title. Like "Photographs by ______." Unless you can think of a more specific common thread tying them all together. The fact that they're black and white is not interesting enough ...

    I write a different statement for each body of work I produce. I wouldn't know how to write something coherent that covers the experimental stuff I'm doing now, the landscapes I did fo the last many years, and the street pictures I did while in school.

    If you get someone to write it for you, I think you'll have an easier time with someone who knows you well and really likes your work. It will likely be a tough job no matter who you hire. I just did a similar writing assignment for a friend—it took over a dozen drafts, because it's basically ghost writing for someone about the thing that's most important to them.

  2. #12
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Exhibition help

    Quote Originally Posted by paulr View Post
    I wouldn't know how to write something coherent that covers the experimental stuff I'm doing now, the landscapes I did fo the last many years, and the street pictures I did while in school.
    There is no rule that an artist's statement should be cogent and/or coherent.

    Years ago I remember seeing a TV program about avant-garde poetry which was comprised of words strewn about a page in different fonts and sizes, similar to a movie ransom note. It was meant to be read as something grabbed your attention, and would be different for whomever read it.

    Also, I don't think that the "statement" should necessarily be comprised of ASCII or Unicode. (For non geeks, that means typewritten.) What about an audio statement? Not necessarily you speaking, but comprised of environmental sounds, like a sort of Musique concrète. Or what if your "statement" is a photograph or a drawing?

    Yeah, let's mess with the system like Prince did!

  3. #13

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    Re: Exhibition help

    The images should be your statement. You are working in a visual language. Very few photographers are gifted at writing; I would suggest that you find someone else for the task, perhaps with the credentials that Paul suggested.

    Title the exhibit, "Recent Work", or something along that line if you are exhibiting a series of unrelated images. There is nothing like a mediocre statement to cheapen the value of what is on the wall. Of course, much depends on who your audience will be.

    Hope your shows are a big success!

  4. #14
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Exhibition help

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Hull View Post
    My photo philosophy has never been formalized, although I think I agree with a Manuel Alvarez Bravo statement I recently read which downplayed the strategic philosophy involved in taking specific photos.
    That's fine, as far as it goes. The problem is that when the rubber meets the road in a show, the exhibitor almost always needs a title and description of the work, unless you are already very famous, or dead (and also famous).

    Although I believe it is abundantly clear from my site's galleries exactly what I do, I (almost) never take, or make (fine art) photos with any overarching plan. I too, just go with my muse (i.e., the light). Any potential show, book, gallery, etc. only becomes evident when I have accumulated enough photographs of like content or ascribed meaning.

    Many years ago a former local "high-brow" art curator, seeking employment, visited me and asked to look at my work. His conclusion, after seeing a few prints, was that they were beautiful, but what did they mean? Well, in one respect he was right. He'd seen random examples not arranged in any meaningful fashion. But this fine fellow, as evidenced by his personal history, would simply never know their meaning – never comprehend the simple but elegant play of light on stone ...and tree ...and snow ...and water ...and cloud ... in any one of my photographs – any more than I would understand the kind of post–modern, deconstructed, dirty, poorly printed, lifeless, gargantuan "landscape" images of dried coyote bones and flesh next to a headless child's doll, that populates many avant–garde institutions.

  5. #15

    Re: Exhibition help

    Terry, you seem to have quite a lot of time until the exhibition, so why don't you decide what you want to say and then choose images that support that statement? Photography is a language that is visual. A show of your best images would be like a poem of a poets best lines strung together. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense now does it?

  6. #16
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Exhibition help

    I noticed CPS' post about Ahae, and I noticed the "artist's statement" in the blog entry:

    Ahae’s aim is not just to produce some wonderful photographs; he wants to open everyone’s eyes to the wealth of life that is right there beside them if they just look out of the window. Ahae reminds us that nature is alive as it always has been, awaits the care of each one of us and is both whispering and crying out to us that it is not too late. The photos also demonstrate that the life force of nature can be seen right on your own doorstep if you only have the eyes to see it, and that it is the duty of each one of us to keep our surroundings undisturbed and untainted, this being the first step towards living an organic and green lifestyle. His work quietly makes a plea on behalf of the reality of the situation in which both mankind and nature are suffering and pierces our consciences by reminding us of our responsibility as human beings.
    OK, look at that last sentence. His work makes a plea? Hello? 2000-4000 images per day is a plea? No photographer wrote that! That's the value a writer can bring you.

    Or else you can use one of several BS, er, artist's statement generators on the net. Just do a search, and the first page will contain more than enough to keep you entertained for seconds on end.

    I got it! Grab a newspaper, magazines, books, and lots of black paper. Cut the paper up to isolate words, and do a big multiexposure of whatever words you think suit your photographs. Give that to them.
    Last edited by Brian C. Miller; 24-Oct-2011 at 20:39. Reason: Industrious insipid inspiration striking sanity

  7. #17

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    Re: Exhibition help

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    Why not get a writer to write the artist's statement? There are plenty of people who are adept at creative writing. How about taking a look at a poetry forum?
    Make it a Limerick!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.

  8. #18
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Exhibition help

    A photographer pranced down the walk
    With his tripod he stopped and gawked
    A beauty met his eyes
    He focused and pulled his darkslides
    But his film was safely in its box!

  9. #19

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    Re: Exhibition help

    I was off line for several days, and once back read all of the helpful contributions made by several participants. I now have many ideas, and time to develop them into something that makes sense for me. My thanks also to the Moderator for "rescuing" this thread!

  10. #20
    Ron Miller
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    Re: Exhibition help

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Hull View Post
    I have had I am having trouble with the thought process in terms of putting a name on it.
    'With the grain"

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