Photolucida just wrapped up five days of photographic excellence last night with a party at Blue Sky Gallery here in Portland.
What an experience Photolucida offers. At the heart of the experience are reviews of photographers’ work. Each of the 160 or so photographers gets to spend 20 minutes with nearly 20 of the 60 or so reviewers who are curators, gallery owners, critics and collectors.
There’s also an outer layer of reviewers, called roving reviewers, who meet with photographers and respond to their work in a much less formal structure. I was a roving reviewer for two days and was amazed at the range and quality of work.
Reviews are the heart but there’s so much more. It is a festival of photography. There are talks each noon, an evening talk by Charles Hartman and Julia Dolan about collecting photography, a portfolio walk at the Portland Art Museum where each photographers shows work to the community, a talk by Todd Hido one evening and many of Portland’s best galleries host photographic works for the month, including a special gallery walk during Photolucida.
I guess most of the work shown would be labelled art. But that’s like calling something a car and thinking it means only one type of car. One quality that all of the work shared was precision of thought and execution. The bodies of work people showed held together for many varied reasons and utilize a huge range of the photographic medium. Some told stories, some were collections of thoughts, others were ideas, impressions, connections.
Inevitably, each of the bodies of work reflected the essence of the person who created it. What a joy it was to meet the people and get to know them through their work.
The next Photolucida is in April of 2013 with registration beginning in the fall of 2012. If your work is good and focused and artful, I’d encourage you to try it.
Aline Smithson also wrote a post about Photolucida on Lenscratch.