untitled, (Trabuco Flats), 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale
I just curated an on-line exhibition, “Water & Ice“, for the Photographers Exchange, a group of photographers who meet monthly at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, California. I strived to have a broad and interesting mix of contemporary and modern images for this rather broad genre of photography. As I stated in the exhibition introduction; water is one of the classic subjects for creating metaphors, i.e. as one of the basics for life.
While making preparations to promote this on-line exhibition, it occurred to me that I have just curated the fourth in this series of exhibitions for this group, the others being Connections, Survey of Contemporary Landscape and Fall Season, with the earlier three on-line exhibitions in 2018. I am planning continue curating these exhibitions thru 2019 and potentially beyond.
I guess this is helping to establish me as independent curator! Okay, a capability that I have backed into and I had not been working on by design. My first curatorial project was in 2012 for FotoGrafia Festival Internazionale di Roma, which in retrospect was a pretty interesting curatorial start as this is an International known photographic event in Italy. Nevertheless, I have not really pursued these curatorial opportunities and in retrospect, these curatorial projects are similar in process for the book judging I did for Photo Independent and the related books talks during the Photo Independent events. Which I suspect led to my 2017 guest curator spot for LA Photo Curator, creating another on-line exhibition based on my theme.
I think looking back that working on the LA Photo Curator project really laid the ground work for this series that Gerry Clausing and I are curating with the Photographers Exchange (we take turns curating every other exhibit). It is a similar in process to editing a photobook; you have a large amount of work that needs to be reduced to create a meaningful and interesting show. In my case I also want to ensure that the exhibition theme is broadly investigated and the work is diverse in how artists/photographers explore the subject. A challenge in its own right.
For the Photographic Exchange exhibitions I have also been granted the option to include my own work in what I curate (I am also a member of the Photographers Exchange), which in my case I think about what might be missing or could make the exhibit more diverse and then find something that could help fill in a potential visual gap.
So for this exhibition I selected the photograph above, an image that contained very small elements of transitional water (dew) that is present for a short time in the morning. Later in the morning with the rising sun, the dew will soon be gone and the spider’s web will be fully functional, perhaps in time to catch lunch. Perhaps there are some abstract visual qualities to this composition that I wanted to investigate as well.