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Opening reception and workshop: September 14-15, 2019
Personal narrative is a tough subject, since it requires a deep understanding of how our personal existence is connected to the eternal and ongoing narratives of mankind. To show that in a single image is not an easy task, and I am very pleased to see so many good submissions to this call.
Let me start out with a word of caution: My decisions about what to include or exclude from this show are purely personal ones and, I am sure, a different juror would have made different decisions. What I do see in almost all submissions to this show is a genuine attempt at sense-making on the part of the artist. It takes time and patience to achieve that. It also takes the cautious and sparing use of props and editing and “cleverness”. But the joy of achieving a successful image and the joy of seeing it are worth the years of poking around in the dark.
For an image to appeal to me it has to make me want to spin a story around it. It has to incite curiosity and wonder and surprise. It has to incite questions more than give answers.
To touch the viewer and awaken in him a story that’s already there, in his heart, we have to tread lightly and stay ambiguous as opposed to obvious in our intent. That is what connects us – the stories we all have in common because we are all human. It is also what can make an image successful.
Thank you for trusting me with your images. It is an honor and a pleasure and I have seen a lot of work that genuinely touched me and made me spin my own stories around them.
— Ralph Hassenpflug