The Alternative Approach
The Alternative Approach, February 5 - March 1, 2014
Opening Reception: February 7
Alternative process photography today is a blend of contemporary ideas and historical techniques. Many photographers have rediscovered some of the forgotten early processes, bringing a unique style to present-day image making. Incorporating these processes into their work involves both skilled craftsmanship and a creative blending of new and old. For our third annual alternative process exhibition, The Alternative Approach, The Kiernan Gallery seeks photographers who use handmade and historic photographic techniques in their work. 19th century photographic processes dominate this genre. These non-silver processes include (but are not limited to) Albumen, Cyanotype, Van Dyke Brown, Platinum/Palladium, Gum Bichromate, Bromoil, Salt Print, Wet-plate Collodion, Image Transfer and Ziatype.
About the Juror:
Christopher James is an internationally known artist and photographer whose photographs, paintings, and alternative process images have been exhibited in galleries and museums in this country and abroad. His work has been published and shown extensively, including exhibitions in The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The George Eastman House, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The first two editions of his book, The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes (Delmar Cengage -Albany, NY), have received international critical acclaim and are universally recognized by artists, curators, historians, and educators as the definitive texts in the genre of alternative process photography and photographically integrated media and culture. A significantly expanded 850 page, 600 image, 3rd edition will be published in 2013. Christopher, after 13 years at Harvard University, is presently University Professor, and Director of the MFA in Photography program at The College of Art and Design - Lesley University. He is also a painter, graphic designer, and a professional scuba diver.
Let me begin by thanking all of the artists for submitting such a significant selection of work for this year’s Kiernan Gallery Alt Process show… and for making my task of selecting the images for the gallery and on-line exhibitions so much fun. I also want to thank Kat Kiernan for being such a curatorial leader in the promotion alternative process photography… image making that is predicated upon the philosophy that photography is unique in the visual arts in its ability to successfully merge new technologies and traditional influences with personal, hand-made, artistic production. Photography has become, perhaps more than any other medium, the perfect nexus of art and culture.
Every year, the alternative process movement, linking the romance of photographic tradition, the thrills and efficiency of digital imagining, and the passionate respect of the hand-made image, becomes stronger and more influential. Its practitioners are motivated by the premise that the photography is in a massive state of flux and that the evolving identity of the medium is being constructed, in great part, upon its past. Contemporary photographic artists, like those represented in the Kiernan Gallery, are making beautiful work in a time where the terms antiquarian, and craft, are synonymous with media innovation and integration. It is these young artists, like those in this show, and those who were not selected this time around, who are actively defining the future of photography.
I want to add that like all juried exhibitions, the selection of work is only a representation of the juror’s personal preferences on a few days in December and not in any way a definitive critique on the merits and artistic qualities of the images submitted. It is certainly not a rendering of judgment on the artists who put themselves, and their work, on the line. I was seriously impressed with everyone and sincerely hope that you submit again in the future. Good luck to all, happy New Year, and thanks for the opportunity to see such outstanding work.