Category Archives: short films

Photo Competition: Visual artist Lucia Pizzani and filmmaker David Jackson win Hotshoe Photofusion Award 2014

Now in its fifth year, I was delighted to announce the winners of the Hotshoe Photofusion Award 2014 at the gallery last week (11 December) with a short comment on the work, which I have reproduced below. The winners are:

LuciaPizanni
Lucia Pizzani for her Impronta series 2013 of ink-jet prints derived from the wet-plate collodion process. The work is a hybrid of sculpture, performance and photography and engages with the idea of the chrysalis on a number of levels, including its physical form through the use of specially-made chrysalis costumes. This series of delicate and slightly bizarre black-and-white images recalls the style of 19th-century Victorian ethnographic portraiture and suggest women on the verge of emerging, as well as ideas of metamorphosis and transformation. (photo above © Lucia Pizzani)

Film Still_04 Film Still_03 Film Still_02
David Jackson, This Is Not My House is a short film of 14 minutes shot in Malta and centred on the filmmaker’s widowed father. Gentle and beautifully crafted, the film avoids the usual clichés and instead offers a series of tenderly stitched vignettes that give a sense of the now increasingly solitary life of his ageing father. At one point in the film there is a short exchange between father and son, who also share the same first name, that conveys so much about their relationship and a growing similarity in mannerism, posture and even dress. (film stills above © David Jackson)

The winner/s receive a feature (in this case I have interviewed the winners for a post next week) on http://www.hotshoeinternational.com, and a free annual magazine subscription. Previous winners received a feature in the magazine but since it has changed to a quarterly frequency, this is no longer the case.

Since I started judging the selection in 2010, there have also been changes in the way the award is organised. For the first two years, I judged the winner from a shortlisted selection of six photographers and visual artists on show at the gallery. Since 2012, Photofusion has organised a salon-style hang showing single images from its members and this year for Photofusion SALON/14 there were over 1200 images from 140 artists.

People often ask me about judging photo competitions and in an early post, Discovering Your Competitive Side, I talked about how I select work. This year, as in previous years, I asked Photofusion to send me a folder with all the entries stripped of the photographer’s name so that I only have a number for each entry, plus an artist statement and CV with the names removed. In my line of work, there is, inevitably, work that I may recognize, but that is the nature of photo competitions so I try to maintain as much parity in judging the work as I can.

I like to look at the work first, reflect on it, return to it, and see which images stay in my mind over a couple of days. I also read the artist statement once I have looked at the images, not before, as they can help anchor the work, point to conceptual aspects that may not be gleaned solely by looking at the work, and suggest points of investigation by the photographer. Lastly I look at the CV, although in most cases I do not refer to this at all. I am only interested in the work submitted and supporting statements or captions, it makes no difference to me whether someone studied at the Royal College of Art, or a lesser-known institution or whether the entrant is self-taught. For me, it is about the work, not the perceived pedigree.

I then whittled 100 folders of single images down to a longlist of around 20, for which I requested any further images by the photographer who was, at this stage, named. For those of you who are interested here is the longlist:

Wendy Aldiss; Valerie Bennett; Tom Broadbent; James Clark; Scarlett Crawford; CJ Everard;  Gabriella Fabrowska; Keith Greenouth; Robert Hackman; Grace Hardy; Esme Horne; Aron Klein-Barge; Lucy Levene; Emilia Moisio; Vincenzo Sassu; Heather Shuker; Emma Evelyn Speight; Nai Wen Hsu; Remy Whitling

Advertisements

WOMEN IN PHOTOGRAPHY: One Billion Rising short film and Miniclicks Photo Talks and Firecracker event 2 March

One Billion Rising events took place between 2-14 February globally this week. If you haven’t seen this short film, then I urge you to watch it as it raises awareness of forms of violence against women and urges us to Strike Dance and Rise.

*Trigger Warning* A film by @EveEnsler and Tony Stroebel.

To celebrate International Womens’ Day (8 March), I will be hosting and chairing an all-day Saturday session Women in Photography in Brighton on Saturday 2 March at The Green Door with Miniclicks Photo Talks and Firecracker.

“The day will kickoff at 11am with an introduction from our host for the day, deputy editor of Hotshoe magazine, Miranda Gavin. Following on from Miranda, founder of Firecracker, Fiona Rogers has curated a series of photographers her organisation has worked with in the last year.

“They include Firecracker 2012 grant winner Jo Metson Scott, Abbie Traylor Smith, Maria Gruzdeva, Agata Pietron and Chloe Dewe Matthews. All will present short talks on their work.”

JMS 37 JMS 33 JMS 29 JMS 21 JMS 09 jms 3

All photos above: © Jo Metson Scott

Saturday March 2nd
11am – 4pm
Free Entry

Green Door Store
Trafalgar Arches
Lower Goods Yard
Brighton Train Station
Brighton
BN1 4FQ

Photo News – Cyborg Foundation by Rafel Duran Torrent Grand Prize winner GE/Focus Forward $200,000 Filmmaker Competition

CYBORG FOUNDATION | Rafel Duran Torrent from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo. Directed, produced and edited Rafel Duran Torrent; Image & sound: Filma-T Produccions (Anna Moradell & Joan Figueras); and Video Effects: Rafel Duran Torrent, Harald Donner.

Barcelona-based filmmaker Torrent is the $100,000 Grand Prize winner of the GE/Focus Forward Film as well as a collaboration with the Sundance Institute ShortsLab. The film raises questions as to how Harbisson perceives the colours as sounds, ie, in which order does he identify them if he is looking at a multitude of colours? As well as questions relating to the increasing intertwining of the artificial and the organic and the shifting boundaries of identity. He is identified as a ‘cyborg’ in his passport – a fact that makes me wonder about the extent of responsibility and how long it will be until someone argues ‘diminished responsibility’ citing a lack of control of the artificial intelligence part of their identity, rather than the biological.

About the film: Neil Harbisson was born with achromatopsia, a rare condition that causes complete colour blindness. In 2004, Harbisson and Adam Montandon developed the eyeborg, a device that translates colours into sounds. Harbisson has been claimed to be the first recognized cyborg in the world, as his passport photo now includes his device. In 2010, Neil Harbisson and Moon Ribas created the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization to help humans become cyborgs. The foundation has also experimented with other sensory devices, including an “earborg,” which translates sound into color, and a “speedborg,” which allows people to detect movement through electronic earrings that vibrate.

The competition brought together over 600 submissions from 69 countries with topics spanning robotics to energy to philosophy. Jared P Scott and Kelly Nyks, Paul Lazarus, Kim Munsamy and Callum Cooper were given runner-up awards that combined total $200,000. Follow the link to watch all five Focus Forward Films winners, including Torrent (the major cash prize winner).

Slideluck Potshow London: Two highlights – Japan, I wish I knew your name by Pierfrancesco Celada and Mute: The Silence of Dogs by Martin Usborne

Slideluck Potshow London, organized by Mariateresa Salvati and invited to Brighton by the Miniclicks Photo Talks crew, held its first event in Brighton on Sunday to screen a selection of photos from past editions. 24 works were chosen by New Statesman photo editor, Rebecca McClelland, and artistic director and curator of QUAD and coFounder and director of FORMAT Festival, Louise Clements. As with Pecha Kucha, there is a particular formula for the events which take place in cities around the world. The event is free and is organised on a voluntary basis.

What is Slideshow Potluck?
“It is a NYC-based arts non-profit, operating in many cities globally, that aims to bring people together around food and art, and to give people an interesting, engaging, and fun platform for sharing art with their community.” From the website.

PIERFRANCESCO CELADA – JAPAN, I WISH I KNEW YOUR NAME

Japan, I wish I knew your name from pierfrancesco celada on Vimeo.

Pierfrancesco Celada is one to watch and his multimedia piece, Japan, I wish I knew your name, with its artful interplay of still photography, moving image and sound, was, for me, one of the highlights of the Slideshow. Why? Because the whole concept works really well as a multimedia work; it is well-conceived, wonderfully executed and is elevated by its aesthetic considerations, sequencing, use of camera shots and the ambient soundscapes. I was utterly transported for all 3mins 51 secs.

The work was produced at Magnum in Motion, New York, courtesy of Ideastap Photographic Award and received an Honourable Mention, Lensculture International Exposure Awards, 2011.

Celada writes: “During a brief visit to Japan in 2009 I was soon fascinated by the isolation and loneliness I was feeling in the streets. It started as a personal journey, a foreigner traveling in an alien environment. Language and cultural differences were only augmenting this distance between the locals and me. However, while observing people, it was clear that even indigenous were not able to interact successfully. I have then decided to come back in 2010 and better visualize these concepts.

“The Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka Megalopolis, also called Taiheiyō Belt is a unique example of urban agglomeration with an estimated population of over 80 million people. Despite this incredibly high number of chances to interact, it seems that society is moving in the opposite direction. The purpose of this investigation is to create awareness and highlight the problems that modernization and the rapid changes in the environment create in our lives. Is it still important to be, or feel, part of a group? Do we feel part of the environment? Are we alone in the crowd?” From the website.

MARTIN USBORNE – MUTE – THE SILENCE OF DOGS IN CARS


© Martin Osborne, The Silence of Dogs in Cars, 2012
I love Martin’s body of work, The Silence of Dogs in Cars, which was featured in Hotshoe magazine. So it was fantastic to see the collection of images as a slideshow and the immersion in the backroom of the Green Door in Brighton seemed to echo that of the dogs in the cars, especially as photographers were dotted round the room taking photos as we watched the show. (Note to organizers: I find that it disturbs my concentration when I’m watching a slideshow or film and I know that people are taking photos. What about after the show, rather than during?)

I really feel for these dogs and Martin does too. In fact, he cares so much that he’s set up A year to help blog where you can follow his progress as he attempts “to save all animals everywhere” in a year. I should put him in touch with my mum, who wants some of her ashes scattered in the Coliseum or Torre Argentina where the Gatti di Roma (Cats of Rome) have special status.

I love the text on his website too: “Martin lives in East London where he has his photographic studio. He is interested in the ever-curious and often disturbing relationship between humans and other animals.” However, if he reads this, there is the letter n missing from the first ‘and’ in the text on his site, I’ve added it here. Call me pedantic, but I’d rather mention it so that it can be rectified, than ignore it.

If you’re going to Paris Photo, Martin will be doing a book signing of Mute – The Silence of Dogs in Cars tomorrow at 4pm at the Kehrer Publishing stand, EE3. And if you miss this, you can catch the show in London next year from 19 March  – 27 April 2013 when it will be exhibited at The Little Black Gallery.

Photo News – Foam for You launches short film featuring Jessica Backhaus and invites amateur photographers to contribute to Wonder Flickr group

Foam For You has launched the second in its series of short films with Jessica Backhaus giving an insight into her working practice as she explores the theme Wonder for Foam magazine. Backhaus featured in Hotshoe magazine way back in April/may 2006 with her series Jesus and the Cherries.

Jesus and the Cherries, © Jessica Backhaus

“Foam For You is an online resource which features professional photographers providing inspiration and advice for amateurs looking to improve their own work. At the core of Foam For You’s content is a series of extended films about the work of three internationally renowned artists: Michael Wolf (USA), Jessica Backhaus (GER) and Melanie Bonajo (NL).

“They have given Foam exclusive access to their working practice in three fifteen minute documentaries. They explain the thinking behind their work and, in particular, how it relates to themes taken from different issues of Foam Magazine, in which their work appeared.”

What’s more, the best ones will appear in a gallery on the Foam website and you could win a year’s subscription to Foam Magazine.