“All portraits reveal something of the sitter, the photographer and also of us as viewers, but none reveal a whole and complete being. This is part of the enduring fascination with the photographic portrait which purports to be an exact likeness but operates more accurately as a metaphor for the self and how that self might exist in the world at a particular point in time.” – Judy Annear, senior curator photographs, Art Gallery of NSW from the press release for What’s in a Face: aspects of portrait photography
It’s a photo portrait post, with a pipe-theme, today – that’s one hell of a lot of Ps for a sentence.
Today there’s a call for “unselected entries to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011” by Portrait Salon, which considering that only 60 images are selected for the international Taylor Wessing Prize, is a fun and positive way to promote portrait photography through trying to retrieve as many of the “discarded” images as possible. Also, some quirky images of women with some amazing pipes (but are they really pipe smokers, I wonder?) courtesy of photographer Alan Powdrill who also has a blog with a Picture a Day, plus an upcoming photo portrait exhibition What’s in a Face? opening on 24 September in Sydney, Australia and running until 5 Feb.
Portrait Salon aims to show the best of the unselected entries from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011. The organisers – two portrait photographers, who are both based in London and are professionally involved in the city’s photographic community – believe that, “out of the 5,973 rejected entries, there must be some good quality portraits which deserve to be shown”. To this effect, the organisers have anonymously (at least at this stage), set up a Salon des Refusés, “which has a long tradition as a fringe way of showcasing artists’ work that may otherwise go unseen”. See Wayne Ford’s blog for more on the origins of the Salon des Refusés.
This will be a projection of works rejected from a juried art show. So, if you submitted work to the Taylor Wessing photo portrait prize 2011 and got rejected, then you have another chance to get your work seen and shown.
Simply, email a Jpeg only, at 1000 pixels on the longest edge, of your “refused” submission to: firstname.lastname@example.org
See over for more…
Sure, there may be the possibility that your work will not be selected for a second time, but then, unless you give it a go, how will you know? Also, as the organisers say: “We will show a much higher percentage of work than at the National Gallery” this is also because they will be projecting work so will not be as constrained, in terms of numbers of works that can be shown. “The venue, date and time, is yet to be confirmed. In order to maintain a high standard of imagery, the projection will be curated, so a selection of the submissions will be shown.”
I’ve agreed to help on the judging panel, which will be announced soon, so send your unselected entries in. After all, you’ve already done the work and it won’t cost you anything, except a little of your time. And if you didn’t enter but know someone who did, then pass the details on. Can’t wait to see some of the “refusés”, so look out for some of them in future posts.
WHAT’S IN A FACE? – ART GALLERY OF NSW
With portraiture in mind, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has a show What’s in a Face? aspects of portrait photography which is “an exhibition of 45 photographs from its collection. The exhibition focuses on crucial points in the history of photographic depictions of the human face ranging from studio portraiture in the late 19th century to contemporary practices today. Works by Australian photographers, such as Paul Foelsche, Olive Cotton, Max Dupain, Carol Jerrems, Destiny Deacon, Patrina Hicks, Darren Sylvester and others, are placed in an international context, represented by Man Ray, Edward Weston, Iwao Yamawaki, Nan Goldin, Ben Cauchi and Loretta Lux, amongst others.”
If I am anywhere near the Antipodes before then, and you never know what life can bring, then I will swing along, if not I’ll have to make do with virtual enjoyment. I leave you with these thoughts about portraiture from the press release:
“Using photography to depict the face and figure was initially a time-consuming and expensive business. However, the drive to document all things in the world, and rapid technological advances, meant that by the 1880s most people, willing or not and regardless of the photographer’s or their own desires, were documented in some way.
“Spurious 19th century ideas to do with what a face could represent exploded in the early 20th century when identity came to be seen as a psychological rather than social phenomenon. Theatricality and performing for the camera, which had existed in photography since its inception, also became much more evident in this period.
“In the post-WWII era representations of the face and the body quickly acquired a political and socially aware edge. More recently the face has tended to stand less as an expression of personal experience and more a statement that may signify a set of ideas, whether about the individual, the group or the society at large. Many of these highly constructed images acknowledge and play upon the problematics of the photographic portrait.”