The Upside Down exhibition is in the PH21 Gallery in Budapest. It opens on March 7th and I’ll write about it then. But it was also a revelatory experience and I’m writing about that now.
One of the images that I submitted for this exhibition was from my Pandemic Shadows project and it was permanently changed because the reverse image was a better composition.
The two images are below. Please click on them for the best quality image.
This is the original Pandemic Shadows #36 – shadows on a mailbox
And this is the “upside down” version, which is to me, more beautiful.
I was amazed at how much I was even more delighted with the composition. In part because I was very satisfied with the original.
While photographs are valued for their depictive potential and representative content, the non-depictive, non-representational aspects of photographic works are also strongly related to their aesthetic significance. In this spirit, art photography has always aimed for the unity of form and content. Abstract photography has gone even further, celebrating abstract compositions for their own sake, without the need for appreciating or even recognising depictive content in the images. Turning a photograph upside down tends to strip it from its representative function, because the depicted scene and objects are difficult if not impossible to recognise when the image is turned to its side or upside down. However, the formal, compositional aspects of photographs become more pronounced that way, as our attention is steered away from scene and object recognition. In our Upside down exhibition, we would like to show photographs that are indeed turned upside down. Any photograph is eligible if the artist is willing to show it in this unusual way. Abstract photographs might be considered to be the most suitable candidates for this experimental exhibiting method, but there are many depictive works as well whose compositional qualities might also be appreciated in novel ways when turning them upside down, thus liberating us from studying and concentrating on their representational content. Landscapes, bodyscapes, symmetrical compositions, or even architectural and street photography may be good candidates for turning images upside down, but images in other photographic genres may also be considered for this exhibition.
PH21 Zsolt Bátori
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