juried by Kira Pollack
April 13 – June 16, 2013
In the midst of the fast-paced, deadline-riddled TIME office, taking a day to thoughtfully review the entries to Photography Now 2013 was an inspiring respite.
Drawing more than 265 entries from around the world, the submitted work spread across all disciplines of photography — from studied portraiture and moody documentary to new and varied artistic approaches to conceptual photography.
The review process introduced me to many new voices and signatures. In the end, however, the work that rose to the top often revealed a sense of place – either through compelling environmental portraiture or empty, subtle landscapes.Continue Reading...
Ilona Szwarc’s terrific series American Girls places girls living in the United States with their lifelike dolls, posing the pairs within their personal and familiar environments. Szwarc’s pictures are both strange and revealing, touching on themes of identity and culture. The portraits evoke an element of fantasy; do the girls look like their dolls or do the dolls look like the girls? Robin Schwartz’ Amelia’s World and Animal Infinity depicts the photographer’s daughter, Amelia, photographed with animals of all varieties. Aiming to capture the stories humans often relate to the animal kingdom, Schwartz’ photographs set animals as participants in these dream-like fables.
Alinka Echeverria’s pictures in her project Becoming South Sudan are illuminating portraits of an emerging South Sudanese national identity. Looking at Echeverria’s portrait of a young schoolgirl in uniform, we see a quiet power and resilience — the same qualities visually expressed both by Schwartz’ daughter and the young girls of Szwarc’s American Girls. Gary Grenell’s portraits, meanwhile, reflect a sense of neighborhood and community. Taken in the five blocks surrounding Green Lake Park in Seattle, Grenell’s work isolates people in their environments, offering the photographer’s personal vision of an area meaningful to him.
Other artists in the exhibition use photography to explore even more personal journeys. Beth Chucker’s series, A Work in Progress documents her own journey with IVF through the viewpoint of the patient. Her quiet, emotional pictures show a different perspective on a topic without a familiar visual identity. Ayala Gazit’s project, Was It a Dream is a search through photography as memory and the action of photographing the “un-photographable.” Gazit’s emotionally charged pictures show a sense of absence and loss of the brother she never met before he committed suicide.
Samantha VanDeman’s project Forgotten Hotels is a poetic approach to documenting abandoned hotel interiors that have sat vacant for ten to thirty years. The images of empty rooms are jarring reminders of a past that has been lost and serve as emotional portraits of place. On the other hand, Noah Addis’ series Future Cities does just the opposite, showing overpopulated growth settlements and unplanned expansion in the world’s major cities. There is an artfulness to his pictures which reveals itself as one begins to notice the distinct hallmarks of civilization sprinkled among his vast landscapes.
Each of these projects represents a poignant look at the distinctly visual minds of these emerging photographers. Their bold voices offer a promising glimpse of what we may come to expect in the future.
– Kira Pollack, 2013 Director of Photography, TIME Magazine
Kira Pollack is the Director of Photography at TIME Magazine. Since Pollack joined TIME in October 2009, the brand’s photography has been recognized with awards including the World Press Photo of the Year and the Visa D’Or award as Visa Pour I’Image. In March 2011, she established TIME’s photography site LightBox, which is dedicated to the culture of images and provides a forum for conversation on photography. Previously, Pollack was the deputy photo editor for the New York Times Magazine as well as the associate photo editor at The New Yorker. In October 2011, she was named the photo editor of the year at the Lucie Awards.