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Juror: Christy HavranekGallery exhibition: August 15 - September 17, 2019Exhibition prints due: August 1, 2019
"Photographs bear witness to a human choice being exercised in a given situation." - John Berger
In the submissions for “Being Human,” I saw multiple shades of the human experience: a snippet of parenthood, our relationship with nature, partnership in old age, kids at play, a study of intimacy. It was moving to see the way photographers interpreted this vast and nebulous theme. When documenting the human experience, it’s important as artists that we also examine the intangible: how we think and what we think about; how we communicate; how we relate to and process the world around us. As humans, we know that change is inevitable. As photographers, creatives, image-makers: we have to adapt -- seemingly more rapidly than ever. Berenice Abbott said in 1951: “The time comes when we progress, must go forward, must grow. Else we wither, decay, die. This is true of photography as for every other human activity in this atom age.”
The Juror's Award goes to Andy Mattern's “Average Subject / Medium Distance #4205 (Normal)”. This may seem an unconventional pick to some, however I find the work surprising, playful and smart. It is also deeply human work in its process and message. “Normal” does not depict the notion of “human” in a literal sense -- that is, there is no person in the frame expressing joy, pain, sorrow, love -- but there is palpable humanity in the cohesion and intention in Mattern’s approach. More broadly, the notion of “normal” strikes me as particularly human: As adults, we know that there is no such thing as normal, yet for much of our adolescence and young adulthood, we seemingly strive to be exactly that.
By isolating and incorporating elements of darkroom dials used decades ago to indicate “good” exposure, or perhaps “appropriate” contrast, Mattern is reexamining the very idea of what photography is. We are forced to rethink not only how we make photographs but also how we see and evaluate them. This witty nod to the strict value judgements of how "good" photography has been defined, historically, turns image-making on its head.
The Director’s Award goes to Anna Grevenitis’s image “Regard, 03-04-2019.” With meticulous intention, Grevenitis explores the relationship and power dynamics between viewer, subjects, and photographer, as she poses with her daughter. There’s a beautiful juxtaposition within their interaction: As her daughter tenderly paints her mother’s toenails, Grevenitis meets the viewer with a cool, powerful stare. It is not a confrontational look, necessarily. But it certainly recognizes the gaze of the viewer.
Honorable mention goes to Jennifer Long and Dallas Crow. — Christy Havranek
This is an exploration of what we all recognize as human emotions, human gestures, human endeavors.
What does being human look like to you — emotionally, physically, spiritually? All capture methods and processes are welcome.
Click to see images enlarged.
Morgan Ford Willingham
We are very pleased that Christy Havranek will be jurying and curating this exhibition. She will select approximately 35 images for exhibition in the gallery, and 35 for our Online Gallery. The recipients of the Juror’s Award and the Director’s Award will each be entitled to an online portfolio review by Ms. Havranek.
All 70 selected images will be reproduced in the exhibition print catalog and remain permanently on our website, with links to photographer’s URL. Gallery exhibition August 15 to September 7, 2019.
Submissions: $39 for up to 5 images, $6 each additional image.
Information about our printing service and free matting and framing here.
Christy Havranek is the Photo Director at HuffPost, where she oversees a team of photo editors and photographers. She has over 18 years of experience in the photo business, having worked at NBCUniversal, Frommer’s Travel, & Polo Ralph Lauren, among others. She recently was a juror for the Lenscratch exhibit “Good Manners”, the 2018 LensCulture Street Photography Awards, and Photolucida Critical Mass. In February 2019 she appeared alongside industry colleagues at the Turchin Center for Visual Arts to discuss contemporary photography and its role in creating a more just and equitable society. Christy is honored to be an editorial mentor with Women Photograph for 2018-2019. HuffPost assigns photographers to cover a variety of national and international topics -- from breaking news to long-form enterprise pieces -- and licenses existing photo series to feature on its global platform.