October 2007

2006 NATIONAL JURIED EXHIBITION SELECTIONS

The photographers featured in our October exhibition were the top three selections from our 2006 National Juried Exhibition, juried by Christopher Rauschenberg and Jennifer Stoots.


THE GARDEN
Todd Stewart

[artist website]

On an intimate level the photographs in The Garden are intended to be an expression of the wonder encountered by each of us as we explore the complexities of the contemporary natural experience.

For many years my concerns as an artist have centered on the relationship between nature and culture. With the birth of our twins Ethan and Lily in 2002, the lives of my children have occupied a growing portion of my creative activity. The quiet instances of discovery and revelation I observe as they each attempt to define their own individual relationship with the natural world are the moments I value most as both an artist and father. Using the metaphor of the garden to represent both nature and creation, I hope to explore the notion that we are all simultaneously part of, and separate from, this process.



ALONG THE ROAD
Paul Yurkovich

[artist website]

In my younger years the annual summer road trips my family took here and there were spent mostly with my eyes toward the window daydreaming and staring at the blurry road and all the endless window-framed scenes. Falling asleep this way, and after having dreamt and drooled, I was soon awakened by the road itself. The car would hit a bump and my head would smack against the window. Or, the car would slow through a curve, heed a warning sign, or stop for gas, conform to traffic, street signs and lights, or stall. And I would continue to stare simply for the lack of nothing better to do. To the left and right, behind and ahead of the car, came and went multifarious scenes in a Doppler-like effect.

After recognizing that a majority of recent years’ pictures were taken along the road’s side, and after searching for a project with broader subject matter, it became plain to see where I should be pointing the camera. In the course of what will inevitably be a long-term project, I hope to present to the viewer scenes from the road that would not draw any immediate attention, but only sustained afterthoughts, and perhaps, after passing, cause one to gather plots and storylines.


CONDITION OF URBANITY
Rishi Singhal

The world today is changing at a pace unparalleled in human history and the human condition throughout the world is getting re-defined by the constantly shifting social, political and economic forces. My work investigates this continuously evolving world-order through explorations of natural and built environments and their interrelationship. I am particularly drawn towards certain transient zones within urban environments, where the dualities of chaos and order, death and revitalization, and spectacular and banal constantly refer to our transforming world, both physically and metaphorically.

I have been working on this project since 2004, when I started making typological studies of street views in several western European cities. I was primarily interested in studying the city’s condition based on factors like post-WW II planning, rational order, standardization & urban segregation. I was also intrigued by the significant presence of urban-voids within the city fabric of these cities, and how these often overlooked pockets of wasteland mirrored the alienation & vulnerability of our society.

In 2005, I went to India with the objective of continuing with the project, but on the streets of New Delhi, my patiently formulated notions of urban form & dynamics quickly faded away as I was greeted by a densely hanging smog, meticulously disorganized traffic and little urban demarcation in terms of land use, and somewhat friendly street cows. In spite of being born and raised in India, I had a hard time negotiating through the city I had known so well. One thing that stood out clearly was that the city was growing phenomenally and the harmony between city’s form and surrounding landscape was being constantly compromised by massive suburbanization, migrant influx and heightened public consumption; an indelible stamp of growth, for better or worse.

Later that year, during my residency at the Center for photography at Woodstock, I started photographing in the Central & Western New York, with specific references to the industrial townships that flourished during the “manufacturing” based economic boom in the sixties, but are now challenged by the closure of industry, outsourcing of jobs, out-flux of younger population, and urban and social planning failures.

Currently I am photographing in India again with the objective of further expanding the scope and volume of this work.