Thursday, October 16, 2008
Jing Quek & Steve Hanson
If you ask me, one of my favorite aspects of Critical Mass is the diversity of work you find while looking through the cd. With this many photographers, and reviewers, there's not necessarily one dominant style or technique. With a jury as large and diverse as ours, those that make it on to the Final 175 and the Top 50 aren't doing so because their style is necessarily in fashion, but simply because a lot of people agree that their work is interesting.
In his project "Singapore Idols," Jing Quek constructs large-scale tableaus and controls almost every aspect of production; the lighting, environment, props, etc. In some images, Quek even hires actors to create imaginary communities.
"Through the juxtaposition of images portraying real communities and imagined communities," Quek writes, "I address constructions of identity, stereotypes and communities as well as the dynamics of creating fictions and mythologies in our urban social narratives."
But in his project, "Rush Hour," Steve Hanson's control is limited to the camera. Hanson slows things down, photographing busy freeways of major U.S. cities, but without the chaos and speed we normally associate with this place and time. And it does seem important to note that Hanson's doing it all with traditional silver-based processes here. Nope, there's no Photoshop here, folks.