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Again: Reflections and Photography

Exhibition: November 8 - December 3, 2011

Prints of most of these images are available for purchase. Please inquire.
All photographs are the copyright of the individual artists and may not be reproduced without their permission.

Juror’s Statement

"There are two ways of spreading light ... To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it." Edith Wharton (1862 - 1937)

It has been both a challenge and a privilege to be entrusted with the wonderful roster of photographs that were submitted to "Again: Reflections and Photography," the upcoming juried show at PhotoPlace Gallery. I combed through 950 images and edited them down to 40 prints for the gallery exhibition and an additional 35 images for the Online Gallery. Reflections and their counterpart, shadows, are phenomena that add a layer of sub-reality, distortion, illusion, abstraction, complexity, and magic to scenes that at another moment might be the most ordinary, mundane and unnoticed of sites. Photographers as well as poets are endlessly fascinated and inspired by them because they have to do with illusion, mirage, fleetingness, other worldliness - and also vanity.

Lucky for me that an extraordinary number of strong, beautiful, inventive and original images were submitted to this call, making my work both easier and more difficult. Jurying an exhibition consists of choosing the best works from a submitted pool, but also of making sense of a range of styles and themes to extract meaning that says something about contemporary photography and the world we live in. Ultimately the resulting exhibition, its narrative, is a cross between the work submitted and an expression of the juror's sensibility and aesthetic.

My own work often draws on both reflections and shadows as a way of connecting to inner spaces, layers of identity and the past. In selecting some works and setting aside others I let the images themselves lead me along, allowing certain strains and connections become clear. Many submissions had strong abstract qualities where refracting light was the main subject matter – others seemed to speak of yearning and nostalgia – and a few, of humor and quotidian reality.

The work in the exhibition consists of less than ten percent of the work submitted. Were there more space for a larger show I'd have likely altered the narrative and included more work. But as in every creative endeavor, forming an exhibition consists of winnowing down and making hard choices I want to thank PhotoPlace gallery for inviting me to jury this show and the photographers for sending their most inspired works and putting their trust in me.

     — Sylvia de Swaan

Call for Entries

One of the most fascinating aspect of optics is the phenomenon of reflection. Light bouncing off of water, mirrors, bright surfaces creates a simulacrum of the object reflected. PhotoPlace Gallery is honored that photographer Sylvia de Swaan served as the juror for the exhibition "Again: Reflections and Photography." For this exhibition Sylvia chose forty photographs featuring reflections for exhibition at PhotoPlace Gallery. She also chose an additional thirty-five photos for the gallery's "On-Line Annex." All selected work will be included in a full-color exhibition catalogue available for purchase.

About the Juror

Sylvia de Swaan is a Romanian-born visual artist/photographer who has lived and worked in Mexico, Europe and the United States. She moved from New Orleans to Central New York in the late seventies and has had a multitude of involvements in the region and beyond as an internationally exhibited practicing artist; founding director of Sculpture Space, Inc.; independent curator; advocate for the arts; visiting faculty in the art department at Hamilton College and Pratt Institute; and recipient of grants, fellowships and prizes from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Aaron Siskind Foundation, ArtsLink, Light Work, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Austrian Ministry of Culture, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Society for Photographic Education, and Paris Photo, among others.


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