Finalists T « Photography Open Salon

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Virgilio Ferreira, Portugal The ‘Uncanny Places’

The ‘Uncanny Places’ project is settled upon the expressive ambiguity of certain images, which are both familiar and foreign at the same time. In my view, these images evoke fragments of the contemporary world. A world of strangeness and similarity, hallucinatory, made of blurred and everchanging boundaries. My pictures aim to get away from that regulated world, without leaving it, but inspecting it. The project deals with binaries such as the logic versus the magical, the rational and the irrational. Poetic experiments are created through an intuitive passage through apparently common places, with no compass; this deliberate aimlessness paves the way for moments of serendipity. Shot on various locations in Europe, the United States, China and Russia, Uncanny Places meets with different trajectories combining several frameworks to include feelings of awe and fear, provoking memory and illusion, and giving off a sense of myth and fantasy- all of which I try to recreate visually. A double-exposure is intentionally used, in a very short time-span, in the same image, for the same occurrence. This is to create a notion of continuity between “there” and “here”, where two points in time overlap in the same place. The presence of the two physical and chronological layers in the same image contradicts the ordinary flow of perception. These images were  taken in medium format with the use of colour reversal film, without resorting to digital manipulation, the analogical adding to the mystery of these images.

Virgílio Ferreira (1970, Oporto, Portugal) is a photographer, and he lives in Portugal.  His work has been widely exhibited in Europe, The Middle East, The United States, and South-East Asia. Between 2006 and 2010 some of the most recognised exhibitions have taken place at the Empty Quarter Gallery (Dubai), Ofoto Gallery (Shanghai), Módulo Gallery (Lisbon), Museu da Imagem (Braga, Portugal), Southeast Museum of Photography (U.S.A.), Portuguese Centre of Photography, the 2nd Fotofestival Mannheim (Germany), Fotofestiwal Lodz (Poland), 10th Photography Festival (Aleppo, Syria), Royal College of Art (London), Berllaymont, (Bruxelas), Pipfestival (China), 19th International Photography Meeting Thesssaloniki (Greece) and the BAC Festival at the Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (Spain) as well as Madridfoto (Spain), Photo La and Photo Miami (U.S.A.).  Furthermore, a number of exhibitions were programmed and took place in 2011, with the view to disseminating artistic work. Uncanny Places is represented in the travelling exhibition project Hahnemuhle Anniversary Collection, which is journeying through some of the major world capitals during 2010/2011, and also upcoming exhibitions in Format Festival in Derby (March to April), Encontros da Imagem in Braga (September) and the Month of Photography in Bratislava (November). Is worth mentioning that this series was the winner of the International Photography Award of Encontros da Imagem – DST, which rewarded the best Contemporary Photography portfolio in 2010. He has published three projects in books entitled, “Daily Pilgrims”, “We and The Others”, and “Rainbow” and has had work published in international magazines, photo art blogs, and webzines such as European Photography; The Guardian UK; Katalog-Museum for Fotokunst Brandts; Hey, Hot Shot; 1000 Words Photography; Lens Culture; Eye Curious; Mrs Deane; Heading East and Artephotographica.  Virgílio’s work is held in public collections, including the Hahnemuhle Anniversary Collection, Germany; the Southeast Museum of Photography, USA; the National Collection of Photography, Portgual; Lodz Art Center, Poland and the University of Coimbra, Portugal. ferreira_virgilio_Bio





Michelle Given, US

Portfolio 1: Accommodations (the series of color photographs) By the time my parents were in their late twenties, they were married, had a child, and were settled into the home and occupations they would retain for the next thirty years; they and the rest of my family are the definition of stability. In contrast, my lifestyle and that of many of my peers is decentralized; we are constantly moving, traveling, changing jobs, and cycling through intimate relationships. I often wonder how one can know oneself, and be known by others amid these seemingly ever shifting variables. To further explore this line of thought, I have begun documenting the places that I sleep that are not my home including hotel suites, computer labs, studios, as well as the homes of friends, acquaintances, and family. By including myself in the frame, I am creating environmental portraits of sorts. I am interested in how these spaces and the objects within them are empty signifiers— while they might influence the way in which a viewer perceives me as an individual, that perception is not completely accurate as the rooms and the majority of the possessions within them are not my own. There is an artificiality to these photographs and the way in which I inhabit them; the rooms are like sets and I could be an anonymous character in an undefined role. This work is an exploration of identity, isolation, representation, context, and transience. Portfolio 2: Neither Here Nor There (the series of monochromatic photographs) As an artist I am concerned with defining the distance between things— the distance from oneself, from one’s environment, from other people. For this project I employ pinhole photography combined with digital imaging to address the idea that as humans, we function at a certain distance from the physical world. While our bodies are situated in a specific location and time, our minds are free to wander away from that place— forward and backward in time, or laterally elsewhere. The pinhole camera’

s characteristic soft focus and wide angle of view distort space, warping and pulling it in such a way as to put more distance between photographer and place, the audience and subject. Some images are produced from multiple in-camera exposures, while others are digitally manipulated to combine environments to exaggerate this gap. In doing so I remove a solid point of visual reference with the intention of causing confusion and disorientation as a way to draw attention to the mental dislocation from physical experience. Given_Michelle_cvstatement

Sabine Thoele, Germany

Portrait on the move

When travelling by bus our minds tend to drift off and we often retreat into our own little world as the world goes by. While the body is moving from A to B thoughts can wander. It is quite a special, inbetween state which I feel is reflected in our facial expressions.


Sean Bulson, UK

“Commuters”  London

“Commuters” shows all those who decided to sit opposite me on the train to work over a period of one year. I was managing an image library for a transport consultancy at the time, and was keen to record how behaviour and appearance varied over the 12 months. The viewer can decide if this image confirms or subverts our stereotypical view of commuters.
Sean Bulson MA, London based photographer and sociologist. Graduating with a Masters degree in Social & Political Thought from Warwick University, Sean learnt from assisting professional photographers and from taking a series of photographic courses – all passed with distinction – at Kensington & Chelsea College. Sean uses varying degrees of abstraction to achieve a strong formal and graphic image. Influenced by modernist photographers (Bernd & Hilla Becher, Lewis Baltz and Andreas Gursky) and artists (Piet Mondrian, Dan Flavin) his photography combines sociological references, with a coherent and often idealistic approach. He exhibited “Images of Tate Modern” at the PowerStation Gallery, London, and has also exhibited at several college photography shows and other group exhibitions. His work has been published in the British Journal of Photography’s Endframe portfolio and used by the publisher Harper Collins. Selected photographs are held by Arcangel Images.

“Commuters who chose to sit opposite me on the train over a period of one year.”

Juan Guillermo Escobar, Spain

Memory Tapes

MEMORY TAPES I am interested in three basic concepts in “Memory Tapes”. The first one has to do with the idea of how you can add time to a photograph. The second one has to do with the idea of decomposing the elements in the photograph, in a way that the elements become somewhat evident but not recognizable. The third idea comes from the interest of reconciling photography with painting. For the first one I take as a reference the work of David Hockney where he presents the idea that “photography lacks time.” Meaning that is difficult to interpret photography as a fine art medium because a photograph is made in 1/60 of a second. Therefore it can’t be compare with a painting, which can take six months to be made. My photographs attempt to address this issue in a way that the viewer needs more time, even if is brief, to understand the elements present in the image. This evokes a temporal gesture of our memory; in the way we remember or look for references of our experience to relate with the images of the series. This transcends into our second concept, which presents the idea of separating the general need of the viewer to relate to recognizable objects in photographs. This means, that when we read photographs we have a certain tendency to identify people, places, objects, and a series of elements that allows us to read into the picture. My photographs try to break this concept, allowing the viewer to perceive the basic elements of the image but without allowing them to recognize them. For example, the photographs present elements as people, but the viewer can not identify them, you only see the texture of their silhouette, the colors that compose their image, but not the usual features that we are used to refer to as their eyes or hair. This takes us to the third concept of the photographs which is the reconciling of photography with painting. This idea is presented by Gerhard Richter, who in his work he attempts to reconcile painting with photography by painting with the use of elements of movement and composition from photography. My images propose the inverse, which is using elements of painting in the photographs. This means that my photographs attempt to present the elements in them with characteristics of texture, composition and abstraction influenced by elements of painting. These three elements interact with one another in the process of changing the possibilities of reading photographs; they fuse in the visual results of the images as they need one from the other to exist. The ideas in the photographs complement one another, providing the necessary structure for the viewer to relate with them for a longer period of time, even if only seconds. The final product are images which require more time to be read, images that get away from the idea of representing reality, and images that attempt to talk about photography with a new language of structure, interpretation and time. Changing this language is fundamental in the idea of creating images that emulate moments of our memory, the way we remember with small pieces of information, of “memory tapes”.

EDUCATION May 2005 University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography Bachelor of Arts in Art History, Minor in Motion Pictures, Graduated with Honors, Provost Honor’s, Dean’s List Aug 2001 Parsons School of Art and Design, New York, Paris Marketing Design / Photography Dec 2000 Saint Martins School of Art and Design, London, England Photography / Fashion Design 2010 Solo Exhibition from March 19 to April 21 at Arte Consultores, Bogota. 2009 Represented by Arte Consultores, Bogota, South America 2008 Chapter 2, london-photographic-association, London, England Fashion Exhibit, Gallery 1839, London, England 2007 Group Exhibit at Ssatori Boutique, London, England Group Exhibit at PicassoMio Gallery, Madrid, Spain 2006 “Color Blind” Group Exhibition, at Artformz Gallery. Miami, Florida. “This is My Home” Group Exhibition at Washington State University Gallery. Richland, Washington. Chosen to exhibit “Toledo Friends of Photography” National Juried Photographic Exhibition. Toledo, Ohio. “8th Annual Faces International Juried Exhibition”. Upstream People Gallery. Omaha, Nebraska 2005 “BFA Show” Group Exhibition at New Gallery. Miami, Florida. “Mad Hatter” Group Exhibition at Artists in Residence Gallery. Miami, Florida. 2004 “19th Annual Greater Midwest International Exhibition” Group Exhibition, Art Center Gallery, Central Missouri State University. “New Artists” Group Exhibition at Lowe Art Museum. Miami, Florida. 2003 “Florida Artists” Group Exhibition at Art League Center for the Arts. Bonita Spring, Florida “Paying Attention” Group Exhibition at Creative Arts Center. New Haven, Connecticut “Black Heritage” Group Exhibition at Homestead Art Club, Studio 100. Florida City, Florida “The Contemporary IV International Art Exhibit” Group Exhibition. Period Gallery. Lincoln, Nebraska AWARDS 2004 Deans Purchase Award. Lowe Art Museum. Miami, Florida 2003 “

Candace Gaudiani, US


Alec Von Bargen, Mexico

THE SILENT MARCH is an abstract jigsaw puzzle made up of moments, of fleeting encounters, lingering memories and conversations soon to be forgotten. It is the testimony of the people that enter our lives and those that leave it. Biography (Optional): Artist by profession, photographer by inspiration, playwright by ‘obstination’, actor by dedication and world traveller by addiction. Born in New York, grew up in England and Mexico, German parents, 5 and 1/3 languages plus a healthy passion for all things Asia. Carbon footprint’s off the chart yet recycling is fundamental as are all things green. Human rights are an obsession: live and let live. Some use the term ‘Wanderlust’, others claim to be “In search of”, many are clearly running away from and quite a few are simply lost. I can’t relate to any of the above and yet I’m guilty of all four. I’m somewhat the consequence of a lifestyle-inherited… the by-product of a set of circumstances… all I know is that my life is one long journey and that I spend most nights dreaming on foreign bed sheets, conversing with fragrances of adopted pillowcases many. Am I exhausted? At times. Do I complain? Almost always. Would I change it all? Never! I’m not trying to create a reality, I simply document mine. My images are my waking companions, my accomplices… my alibi. My work reveals the conversation I sustain with the world. It is immediate. I do not stage, light or prep. My subjects are the people, the places, the moments that share my journey… those emotions I meet along the way… I use nothing but a tiny, digital point-and-shoot camera. I work all over the world but rest at home in the Mayan jungle near Akumal, Mexico. Alec-Von-Bargen-Bio-CV-Biennale

Steve Hoskins, UK Parked