(Un)Familiar | Gallery Carte Blanche
Curated by Gwen Lafage
Gallery Carte Blanche / San Francisco, CA, United States
Opening: June 22nd, 2012
Exhibition: June 23rd, 2012 – July 18th, 2012
Meg Griffiths, Carla Richmond, Manu & Greta Schnetzler, Rosa Basurto, Timothy Burkhart, Brett Deering, Joshua Hobson, Erin Hoffstetter, Anthony Kurtz, Mike Narciso, Paccarik Orue, Eleonora Ronconi, Julia Schiller, Cynthia Wood
Curator’s statement by Gwen Lafage on the theme (Un)Familiar:
As a photographer, how do you explore and interpret the familiar and the unfamiliar? How do your vision and/or perspective(s) change when faced with places and people you know, versus when you are confronted by the unknown, or by strangers you meet by chance? Traveling, discovering new places and meeting new people creatively stimulates many photographers, while others find inspiration in the comfort of their home, hometown or among their friends and families.
This competition invited photographers to submit a series of photographs interpreting the theme (Un)Familiar, along with a brief statement or project proposal supporting their entry. We were looking for a wide interpretation of the theme and therefore a wide range of imagery; the photographs could be visualizations of the Familiar, the Unfamiliar, or both. Your statement needs to quickly present your project and explain why you believe it fits with the chosen theme. Ideally, your proposal should help us understand how, or if you adapt your photographic process based on your relationship to and/or intimacy with the subject or environment being depicted.
Diving into unfamiliar territory does not necessarily imply travelling to foreign places – I see it more of a walk into the meandering subconscious and its dream like landscapes. I believe permeating those layers can be accelerated by a change of place, since finding yourself confronted with new surroundings, and literally being lost or feeling lost can lead to a state of heightened awareness and attention. But it won’t uncover emotions or thoughts that you haven’t been carrying with you for a good while. That impulse for change can only come from within, which for me is oddly interwoven with moments of vulnerability and deep silence. The process of altering the way you see things around you and of deconstructing your own hopes, fears, or stereotypes is a slow and tentative one, with numerous one-way streets and unexpected turns. Catching a glimpse of those silent non-events and unspectacular routines which subtly define us and can change our course is what interests me. Through my images I don’t attempt to provide answers or obvious clarity, they are a personal quest for understanding and an ongoing exploration of human idiosyncrasies – allusively questioning my sense of belonging to someone or somewhere.
The (Un)Familiar Exhibition Catalog (8.25″ x 10.75″ / 68 pages / Perfect-bound) is available for purchase & as a free download on MagCloud.
→ Gallery Carte Blanche
→ APA SF Curator’s Voice (Un)Familiar at Gallery Carte Blanche | Exhibition Catalog
→ (Un)Familiar | La Lettre de la Photographie
→ APA SF