Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New York Photo Festival, Come On!

Exhibit A
I want to start this post with two huge caveats. First, I am eternally grateful to the New York Photo Festival. Last year they chose Domesticated for the NYPH book prize and I have no doubt that award has opened doors for my career. Second, I am incredibly honored any time someone wants to exhibit my work.

Now, to the business at hand.

An event that bills itself as "The Future of Contemporary Photography" should hold the photographic image and photographers in the highest regard. They should NOT:
  • Issue a press release announcing an exhibition with a group of photographers before contacting said photographers and asking them if they want their work included in the show
  • Respond to a photographers request that they would like to print and frame their own work with a list of polite excuses why it's not possible while not admitting that perhaps the real reason is that they have sold printing duties as part of a festival sponsorship package
  • Present multiple images printed on a single sheet of paper and tacked to a piece of plywood
  • Be so careless as to not recognize the proper and obvious orientation of a photo
Exhibit B
I was out of the country during the festival, but received several emails from friends alerting me to how my work was presented. When I returned I saw the photos my husband took and was both disheartened and angry.

I thought long and hard about writing this post because I really want the New York Photo Festival to succeed, but as an artist all I have is my work. I invest blood, sweat and tears into each photograph and want it to be presented in the best light possible. I fully support creative exhibition choices and cutorial vision, but I suspect neither was at work here. This was just sloppy execution and an embarrassment for everyone involved.
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