(c) 2007 Cathy Spann
We are happy to have Stu Jenks of Fezziwig
Music & Photography serve as the Juror for Blue Nocturne!
Stu is a returning Jurist, having served dutifully for A
Little Night Music in 2001 - one of our first online shows.
His ďno-holds-barredĒ commentary, taken from both sides of the Juror's
computer monitor, is insightful, a little irreverent, and "true-blue."
[ Curator's Note :
CLICK! on above portrait to enlarge. Also, see some of Stu's "tasteful"
Nocturnes, to the right! ]
Here is what he had to say:
"Right now, three jpegs with my name on them rests in a computer
at the Tucson Museum of Art, awaiting a juror from Florida to judge them
and others for this summer's Arizona Biennial Show. (I got in a while
back; haven't for a few years now.) Likewise, on my computer resides the
jpegs from all of you who have entered The Nocturnes'"Blue Nocturne" show.
The irony doesnít escape me. In other words, I feel your pain.
"The curator for the AZ Biennial will probably give a little talk
regarding his choices and his art theory, but frankly I expect it to be
the usual Contemporary Art gobbledygook: lots of big words and high-minded
ideas, but he probably won't really tell me what was on his mind when
he picked the show, but I will tell you.
"Here's the deal. No matter what anyone says, it's all about taste.
And some other things too, but bottom line? Itís taste. As a Kansas farmer
might say, " I don't know anything about Art, but I know what I like."
Well, the Doctor of Art History from large university might use 50-dollar
words but he's really just saying the same thing. I know what I like.
"But besides visual taste, here are some of the other things I looked
for, when I juried this show:
1) I looked for good design, good composition, and good craftsmanship.
If I saw some dust, unintentional smutz or what I affectionately call
a Visual Turd (that thing that doesn't belong in the image but you can't
help looking at it anyway), then I gave it the boot. If the composition
was a bit dull and static, or the design was pedestrian, that hurt you
too. Iím a sucker for movement.
2) I looked for nocturnal images that showed the world at night. I know
this sound obvious but some nocturnal photography looks just like daylight
photography, except at night. I wanted to see a new world. If I didnít,
I tended to sigh.
3) I looked for things I hadn't seen much before. Now, here's where it
isn't your fault. I've seen a lot of photographs in my day, both nocturnal
and sunshiny. But I've grown tired of old rusted cars, ancient roadside
signs and anything shot at the Salton Sea. I know a number of great photogs
have made careers out of shooting the Salton Sea, but it just doesn't
float my boat anymore. Nor do images of city lights from across a river.
4) When it came to the Blue in "Blue
Nocturne" I looked for the emotion of Blue as much, if not more,
than the color blue. If your image was the color blue, it didn't hurt
you, but I looked for more than just the hue.
5) And here's a big one. (Again, not your fault if you didn't do this,
for many artists don't even consider the following important. But I do.)
I looked for the Story. I looked for the Magic. I looked for the Mystery.
I looked for what I couldnít see that lay outside of the boundaries of
the photographs. I tried to sense what the photographer may have been
experiencing emotionally and spiritually at the time she or he took the
image, and what she or he was trying to have me feel with their work,
besides just showing me a cool photograph. I look for something inexplicable,
something wondrous, something with a soundtrack. And you three, who I
picked for either Best of Show and for the two Honorable Mentions, had
some, if not all of the above. (Many of the other images had it too, by
the way, but not so strong as these three, to me at least.) There was
a Story in your images, either projected there by me or intended by you.
There was a sense of the mysterious, or emotional blueness, or perhaps
a journey there and back. And finally I could see beyond the edges of
your photographs. I could imagine what was down that city lane, or in
that field over there, or beyond that eddy in the icy river.
"And isnít what Iíve just described Ďtasteí? But with just fancier
language? I think so. I just know what I like.
"So if you didn't get chosen, don't feel too bad. Sure, it might
have been that your technique could have been sharper or your composition
was a little flat, but it could have simply been that, you just discovered
old cars in weeds at night, but that just doesn't resonate with me anymore.
Iím not wrong, nor are you. It just is.
"And finally, what is most important is that in this time of vulgar
reality shows, cut and paste entertainment, and twenty-four hour propaganda,
you, my fellow nocturnal photographers, pack up your gear and your tripod,
and go out into the night. Keep going into the night. You will find Magic
there. But you all know that. "
Best of Show
by Szymon Seweryn
Honorable Mention # 1
Window, Stromness, Orkney, Scotland
by Linda Fitch
Honorable Mention # 2
Colors of the Night
by Jody Miller
Blue dream #1
by Marco Susla
On a lonely highway . . ."
"This image was edged out (it was very close) for an
Honorable Mention, so it becomes my "Curator's Choice" - which
it was (it struck me right from the start)! It's not your typical nocturnal
fare, i.e. wide angle landscape or 'moonscape,' this image makes a man-made
household lamp and the cloud-enshrouded moon the story in a strange sort
of architectural interior image - aren't porches and other external living
areas of our home extensions of our living spaces, 'Interiors?' Where
we contemplate venturing (adventuring?) out into the night. When we see
this image, we ask ourselves: 'Who is the light left on for? How late
at night is it? Will the cloud cover clear, any time soon? Could this
image be from the Blue Hotel'"
Your Choices / Thoughts
For participants and viewers alike - Be sure to drop by The Nocturnes
- where we posted an announcement this weekend - and leave a comment or
two (we're sure you'll have some!) re: this exhibit.
And, to see what we might have been looking for read the original Prospectus
for this show.
We hope you enjoy the show!
Ruined Bridge on the Old Sonoita Highway, Arizona
by Stu Jenks ©2009
#6, Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, Arizona
by Stu Jenks ©2009
Best of Show
Icy Swirl by Szymon Seweryn (Poland) ©2009
Window, Stromness, Orkney, Scotland
by Linda Fitch (Northern California) ©2008-09
Colors of the Night by Jody Miller (Southern California) ©2009
by Marko Susla (New Jersey) ©2009