Eye on the Street
Eye on the Street September 4 - 28, 2013
Opening Reception: September 6
Street photographers are guerrilla documentarians. They capture the world as they see it, using small and forgotten moments to present a larger narrative. Themes of class, age, occupation, or background are brought to life by small stories that evoke our shared humanity. The keen eyes of street photographers see what others take for granted, and depict the richness and variety of our public lives. For Eye on the Street, The Kiernan Gallery seeks street photography in all its forms.
About the Juror:
John N. Wall is a photographer and educator from Raleigh, NC. A native of North Carolina, he is a member of the faculty at NC State University. He has exhibited his work in solo and group shows across North Carolina and the South, and has won numerous awards in regional and national competitions. His work has been supported by grants from the United Arts Council of Wake County. He holds a Certificate in Documentary Photography from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. Wall maintains Southern Photography: The Blog about Fine Art Photography in the American South, named one of the 100 Best Sites for Photographers in 2013 by the folks at PhotographyDegrees.org.
The work submitted for this show has been of very high quality, suggesting that street photography continues to be a lively, even thriving field of photographic practice. There was enough good work submitted to support several strong shows. In making my selections I decided to survey a range of practices and approaches to street photography. There are straightforward images here, images that depend on luck and timing and framing to capture what Cartier-Bresson called the decisive moment. There are images that are primarily about feeling, or about arrangement of objects in the frame, or about the strangeness that sometimes appears in the most ordinary of situations. There are also images that draw on the resources of the street for framing, or for mirroring, or for multiplying the perspectives from which we can view the subject of the image.
To me, street photography is about bearing witness. It is grounded in the proclamation that on a specific occasion and in a specific place the photographer was at work, and this is what the photographer saw and what the photographer made of what was there to see. So the subject is the infinite variety of human feeling and behavior and appearance, in specific moments of time and in specific contexts of performance. But the work of the photographer also involves making the image compelling, which involves making, in an instant, a whole range of decisions about perspective, or placement of the subject in the frame, or lighting, or timing, or how to collaborate with the subject in a mutual creative effort. For this reason, I have tried to make sure that the work I’ve chosen for this show has integrity as the work of the street, as a work of discovery, of collaboration, of the moment.