Photographers most often use the camera to record the facts of the real world as seen at the moment of exposure. And the camera is a wonderful device for doing this. But when those facts are aligned to narratives or fantasies, the potential for deeper meaning is expanded. The photographs submitted for PhotoPlace Gallery’s exhibition, “Stories and Secrets,” offered an amazing variety of ways in which stories can be told with photographs. In some cases, texts were included as part of the images, but in most of the work the images themselves carried the narratives alone, sometimes in quite obvious ways, in other instances through enigmatic and mysterious suggestions.
As jurors we were faced with the difficult task of selecting work from a large body of exceptional work, and there were many deserving photographs that we wished we could have included. Alas, our job was to choose a finite number for exhibition and publication, and in the end we found ourselves most drawn to tantalizing images that told stories or whispered secrets in ways that made us want to know more. We gravitated toward images that were thoughtfully and skillfully conceived to tell subtle stories that hover on the edge of suggestiveness. Our congratulations to all of the artists who were selected, and our thanks to everyone for submitting such fascinating work.
Emma Powell and Kirsten Hoving
About the Jurors:
Mother and daughter Kirsten Hoving and Emma Powell have been working together for many years. Their most recent collaboration is Svala’s Saga, realized after extensive travel to Iceland together.
Emma Powell is an assistant professor of art at Colorado College. Powell graduated from the College of Wooster, and received her MFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her work often examines photography’s history while incorporating historic processes and other devices within the imagery.
Kirsten Hoving is a Charles A. Dana Professor of Art History at Middlebury College. In between writing books and articles and teaching courses about modern art and the history of photography at Middlebury College, she makes photographs. She is co-founder of PhotoPlace Gallery.