Musings on Photography

Resurrection

Posted in shows, the art world by Paul Butzi on January 7, 2008

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This call for entries is interesting for a whole host of reasons:

Resurrection: A New Look at Old Photographic Processes
May 1- June 7, 2008
23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon

Click here to download a complete PDF Prospectus and Entry Form.
THEME – This exhibition seeks to explore a renewed interest in antique or alternative photographic processes. Contemporary photographers have developed a new focus on materials and processes by turning to the history of photography for metaphors, technical information, and visual inspiration.

We are looking for work made by artists who are exploring photographic methods of the nineteenth century—either as a response to the digital age or simply as a creative tool.

MEDIA – This exhibit is open to artists working with antique or alternative process photographic techniques and materials such as photograms, tintypes, daguerreotypes, carbon dichromates, gum bichromates, emulsion on metals, cyano-types, collodian prints, toned silver prints, and much more.

There’s slightly different text in the Artist Trust notice about the show:

Call for Entries–Resurrection: A New Look at Old Photographic Processes, to be held in May 2008 at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon. This exhibition seeks to explore a renewed interest in alternative photographic processes. We are looking for artists who are using photographic methods and techniques of the nineteenth century such as photograms, tintypes, daguerreotypes, gum bichromates, collodian prints, toned silver prints, and more. Our curator for this show is Laura Moya, director of Photolucida, an arts non-profit that promotes the careers of emerging photographers. 23 Sandy Gallery will produce a printed, soft-cover, color catalog of all artwork accepted for this show.

I’m delighted to see galleries and curators taking interest in supporting artists working with alternative processes; I’ve seen some really great work and so I’m glad to see it getting some promotion.

I also think it calls out an interesting thing – namely, the fact that photographers (both digital and traditional) are turning to the older processes for ‘metaphors, technical information, and visual inspiration’. It seems to me that one really desirable side effect of the digital revolution has been to INCREASE the interest in older photographic processes, many of which have been recently snatched back from the brink of extinction. To a large extent, I think this is because it’s now so easy to produce high quality enlarged digital negatives which are needed for processes which can only be contact printed.

4 Responses

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  1. Rosie Perera said, on January 7, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I was down at St. John’s College in Santa Fe for a summer program a couple of years ago and noticed a poster about their photography club. It deals exclusively with antiquated processes. St. John’s College is a 4-year liberal arts college that offers a classical education: all students go through the same program, studying Greek, logic, rhetoric, the ancient philosophers, the “Great Books” of literature, the original texts in the history of math & science, etc. They don’t teach computer classes or any of that modern career-path stuff, figuring students with a solid classical liberal arts education can pick that up on their own or go to grad school for it. So naturally the photography club of such a place would be interested in “photograms, tintypes, daguerreotypes, gum bichromates, collodian prints, toned silver prints” and the like. They might like to know about the exhibit. I don’t know if any of them are reading your blog. Probably not… Too contemporary. 😉

  2. Martin Doonan said, on January 7, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Interesting idea & interesting take that you have on it.

    I thought it was more driven by the relatively low cost of the equipment required and/or the taking advantage of technical improvements in modern optics and films to yield better results that were ever possible.

  3. […] Resurrection By Paul Butzi Call for EntriesResurrection: A New Look at Old Photographic Processes, to be held in May 2008 at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon. This exhibition seeks to explore a renewed interest in alternative photographic processes. … Musings on Photography – https://photomusings.wordpress.com                 […]

  4. Guy Tal said, on January 8, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    The more things change, the more they stay the same.
    Interestingly there was also a recent article on National Geographic involving glass-plate photography of cowboys.

    What I find curious is that many of the most vocal proponents of “originality” are also among the most staunch traditionalists when it comes to tools and processes 🙂

    Guy


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