December 8, 2016 – February 25, 2017
Out of 180 submissions in their Annual Contemporary Photography Competition and Exhibition, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC) and Shane Lavalette, Director of LightWork, selected two stand-out artists to showcase photographic narratives through concurrent solo exhibitions: Hannah Price and Hrvoje Slovenc. With these compelling artists shown together, they collectively send a powerful message about identity and how it is constructed internally and from the outside world. Through respective explorations of race and immigration, Hannah and Hrvoje’s photos convey meaningful perspectives on how others define us, and how we define ourselves. The two artists’ exhibitions reject stereotypical perspectives and assumed contexts. The exhibitions debut on December 8, 2016 with an artist talk and gallery walkthrough from 6-8pm. They will remain on display in the PPAC gallery through February 25, 2017.
In pursuit of their mission to cultivate a more vibrant photography community, PPAC’s Contemporary Photography Competition and Exhibition gives both emerging and established artists the opportunity to share their unique visions with a wider audience. While previous years’ exhibitions displayed just one piece from each winner, this year’s concurrent solo exhibitions afford much more artistic freedom. With a $5,000 honorarium for production and shipping costs, both Hannah and Hrvoje created their own conceptual photographic narratives that allow viewers to see the world through their lens.
Hannah Price, a Philadelphia-based photographer and filmmaker, documents relationships, race politics, and perception. Originally from a rural community, photographing the city has been a new experience for her. Hannah’s photo series, titled “Cursed by Night,” is an alluring depiction of the urban environment that now surrounds her. “My photographs were taken during a time people consider to be the most menacing; during the dark night and of those who blend in with it,” says Hannah. “My portraits are of those who are haunted by this visual association. A blackness that may never die off.” Whether consciously or unconsciously, people categorize others based on preconceived notions. As an African-American woman, Hannah has felt the poignant and enduring impact of these categories first-hand. Through the photos in “Cursed by Night,” viewers will see the intricate emotions that accompany social perception and misperception.
Hrvoje Slovenc is a Croatian photographer, currently based in New York. An ode to his homeland, Hrvoje’s photo series is titled “Croatian Rhapsody: Borderlands.” Through images like “Sunbathers at the Riviera,” Hrvoje explores how conventional expressions of nationality are shifting towards more complex ones. An immigrant himself, Hrvoje’s message speaks to his own experiences. “I visit locations that hold great historical or personal significance, and create images to paint a picture of contemporary Croatia,” he says. “The world that is portrayed becomes a pastiche of stitched moments that fuse art genres and formal conventions.” Through “Croatian Rhapsody: Borderlands,” Hrvoje communicates the idea that, in a world with over 200 million immigrants, redefining national identity becomes an inevitable global process.
“Both Hannah and Hrvoje’s concepts are part documentary, part conceptual,” said PPAC Executive Director Sarah Stolfa. “Each is commenting on the idea of identity, but from two completely different perspectives. When compared side-by-side, the exhibitions are like a dialogue between the artists.”
As Hannah and Hrvoje’s photos hang in the PPAC gallery, work from the Competition’s 24 finalists will appear in a pamphlet and an online exhibition housed on PPAC’s website. Featured finalists include Noah Addis, Saleem Ahmed, Pascal Amoyel, Matthew Arnold, Aaron Blum, Tim Carpenter, Sebastian Collett, Megan E. Doherty, Antone Dolezal, Matt Eich, Sean Foulkes, Jillian Freyer, Joshua Dudley Greer, Jon Horvath, Tommy Kha, Amiko Li, Jennifer Loeber, Jessica Richmond, Kyle Seis, Nick Shepard, Charlie Simokaitis, Lida Suchy, Joseph Webb, and Mark Zawatski.
The 2016 Contemporary Photography Competition and Exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, as well as PPAC’s donors and members.
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