Photo competitions and best in show news – Monday Monday

VICE Magazine and Olympus are calling for entries for a photography competition, Stories of the Eye. Four well-known female cultural icons – Daisy Lowe, Alice Dellal, Miquita Oliver and Lovefoxxx – have been invited “to photoblog their lives through the eye of the Olympus PEN and upload their photos to Stories of the Eye website” while “budding photographers” are also being invited to upload their photos to the site “to be judged by the icons”.

© Alice Dellal for Stories of the Eye on the Olympus PEN

Anytime from 11 August to 22 September 2009.

The winners get a brand new Olympus PEN, (rrp £699), plus, the opportunity to exhibit photographs next to the photos taken over the six-week period by Lowe and co at the project exhibition, which will run for two weeks in London at the close of the competition.

22 September. Submissions will be judged by Lowe, Dellal, Oliver and Lovefoxxx.

Just had a quick look at the T&Cs, and thinking about earlier posts, see Seven Tips for entering photo competitions. “Olympus and Vice will have the worldwide exclusive right in perpetuity to exhibit or to authorise the exhibition of the Entry or any part of the Entry at any time and in any media for the purposes of the Project.”  That’s worldwide for ever… pros you’ve been warned.

Duration:London is a monthly curated event at Candid Arts Trust, Angel, London looking for “durational work of all types to be considered for our upcoming events this autumn” – such as film, video, sound.
For more information on the background of the event, go to Duration:London. If you are interested, have ideas or would like further details, please contact:, or

Scheduled screenings/happenings take place on 29 September, 27 October, and 24 November 2009.

Foto8 Summer Show 2009 has announced the winners of Best in Show and the Public Vote. German photographer Torben Weiss has been awarded Best in Show for his environmental portrait which was taken in a German psychiatry hospital where he spent a week documenting daily life on the ward and the “inmates in their rooms”. (Aside: I was talking to a visitor on the opening night event and we were discussing the portrait and how we couldn’t find a caption to explain the context. I guessed it was Germany from the language used in the headlines of some of newspaper cuttings plastered all over the walls, but thought it was a prison room. It seems that the guess-the-location game used to engage the audience in this particular portrait piqued interest. But I’d still be none the wiser knowing the precise location, if I hadn’t read the press release.

On Host Gallery’s blog post Best In Show 2009, by Max Houghton he says: “I would hazard a guess that one of the key reasons Weiss’ image won is that its context is implied, though beguilingly uncertain.” One of the judges is also quoted as saying: “It’s asking questions. The assumption is he’s in prison, but he may not be; he might just be lonely.” All I could find was  the number 59 – a reference to numbering used for the Price List – with the photographer’s name and 13″ x 25.5″ inkjet, unframed, £380. Some people may not like captions, preferring the increasingly popular move (or so it seems) towards caption-free imagery. However, this trend not only sounds like a disease, but is in danger of spreading like one, so please, bring back captions where appropriate. Or at least, if there is a cation or explanatory text, provide a copy of it somewhere. Textual analysis is fun and makes the reader work, but sometimes it can lead to unnecessary ambiguity and confusion).

The runner up is Nick Ballon for his photo of a ski lift in Bolivia which was imported from Switzerland in the 1930s. Sofie Knieff has won the Public Vote for a portrait of ” a boy from Hombori who wants to be a journalist” and who drew a jacket on his body because he didn’t have one. (That’s leagues away from Annie Liebovitz’s famous portrait of a post-pregnant Demi Moore ‘wearing’ her birthday-suit for the cover of Vanity Fair. The judges were photographer Simon Norfolk; director of the Crane Kalman Gallery Brighton, Richard Kalman; director TAG Fine Art, Diana Ewer; director of photography The Times magazine, Graham Wood, and Head of Images at the V & A, Andrea Stern.


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