Regardless of how it’s done, storytelling has always been a big part of photography’s role. “ISTORIA,” on view this month at UTSA Satellite Space, presents new trends in narrative photography in a juried international exhibition that fills the small gallery at the Blue Star complex with works by 15 artists. The consensus? There isn’t one, but this broad table offers a smorgasbord of photographic recipes and tastes. Julie Blackmon presents spooky, crowded domestic scenes that have a tendency to make one want to take a long walk alone, while Thea Augustina Eck’s snow-filled scenes inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition might have the opposite effect (clue: Shackleton’s 1914 trip to the South Pole was one-way, rather effectively evoked in Eck’s imaginations). The palimpsests by Blue Mitchell of Oregon (no, not the jazz musician who died 30 years ago) use layers, too, but in a literal, rather than metaphoric fashion. Like Mitchell, Carol Golemeski takes a more graphic approach to her works, which have an atavistic, old-timey feel. Hans Gindlesberger brings jitters to the old neighborhood in what seem to be invasions of flood or swamp gas on Main Street. Or perhaps, it’s just a mirage. Perhaps there is a theme here, after all. As anyone who has played with now ubiquitous editing tools like Photoshop knows, photos are tricksy things. What you see anywhere, especially in a magazine, is not likely to be simply a true record of the world. But when done well, a photograph can tell a true story.
“ISTORIA” is held in conjunction with the Society for Photographic Education 2011 South Central Conference and Fotoseptiembre. Featured artists include Pinky Bass, Julie Blackmon, Brianna Burnet, Elizabeth Claffey, Beau Comeaux, Thea Augustina Eck, Hans Gindlesberger, Carol Golemboski, Steven Joshlin, Nate Larson, Ann Mansolino, Blue Mitchell, Kenda North, Steven Rubin, and Jes Schrom.
UTSA Satellite Space
115 Blue Star
On view to Sept 25.