Juror statement for FAUX
FAUX Exhibition Juror Statement
As we know, since its inception the evidential nature of photography has been subverted. Its mercurial properties have allowed it to be used as material evidence; proof of (and silent witness to) ideas, time, events and as a reference to reality. It was once considered an accurate way to record the world around us—whether we are the producers or viewers of photography, a hangover or trace of this trust still prevails. By taking images with a camera we are essentially making a testimony. This supposition is so profoundly ingrained that photography still acts as a prime evidential medium. However, it certainly has become more difficult to distinguish between the documentary, staged, or manipulated image. Of course, today a considerable proportion of our lives is shared or influenced by manipulated images and photography online where we encounter a huge amount of material and contribute our own. Studies have found that the online representation of our lives may implant false memories; psychologists have uncovered increasingly that people admit their online profile bears little resemblance to reality and that even recollection of past events has, perhaps, been changed by their own fabrications. Research suggests that, although social networks can help us to remember and share our lives, they can also be detrimental to the accuracy of autobiographical memory. This state of affairs coupled with the shifting landscape and rapid augmentation or artifice of the world around us makes it increasingly problematic to determine what to trust. When the principle of authenticity is becoming subsumed by and refracted by the millions of fragmented images and references, how do we decide what to believe?
The theme of this exhibition is based around the word Faux, which signifies something that is untrue, not genuine, imitation or artificial, even fake or false. Of course, for the open call, any interpretation of the theme was possible—this was something that excited me throughout the selection and, indeed, this subject has provided a rich vein of inspirational material as demonstrated by the range of work and diverse approaches represented. Faux here is interpreted in many contrasting and fun ways; from the record of human trace within the urban and rural landscape to accounts of memory and personal belonging. Recurrent themes are also explored through deceptive collage, subversion of domestic space, to the recording of still life and the staged act. Faux explores the thin line between photography’s implicit truth and its reinterpretation into the world of fiction and narrative, questioning the whole nature of documental value and the representation of actuality through collections of clues, signs, marks and classifications. From hyper-real fruit, gravity defying still life, failing urban camouflage and transmogrifying studio spaces to surreal streets and arable space missions. Often it is most interesting when we can see the cracks in the armor of representation. For me, the most arresting images are the ones that make you think harder, look longer and read more deeply. This show encapsulates what photography is about today—through a focused series of images which record and survey aspects of our human existence, Faux presents some brilliant engaging and innovative photography from around the world.
International Juried Exhibition : Theme: Faux
Fake wood, plastic surgery and imitation cheese, the world around us is staged with facades. We are surrounded by stand in’s for the original, fabricated neighborhoods with identical houses and plastic rocks. Knock off designer goods and mass production meet our consumer demand and people find real comfort in artificial companionship. It is becoming rare to find a genuine person place or thing and the word authentic has been used so often, it no longer means anything. All artist interpretations on this theme are encouraged. All photographic processes are welcome.
JUROR | Louise Clements
Louise Clements is Artistic Director of QUAD, a centre for contemporary art, film and new technologies in Derby UK, since 2001, and Artistic Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival since 2004. An independent curator since 1998, she has initiated commissions, publications, mass participation, art, film and photography exhibitions. She is a juror, portfolio reviewer, workshop leader, speaker and award nominator throughout Europe, America and Asia.
Exhibition Dates | April 1, 2016 – April 30, 2016
Public + Artists’ Reception | April 1, 6-9 pm
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