Friday, April 9, 2010

Impressions of FotoFest Meeting Place 2010

Just to the left of the Downtown Doubletree, Houston, where I stayed for FotoFest 2010. Google Street View.

Here's something I don't usually do here: blog. I usually talk about my own work instead of blazing around the Web. But I since was at FotoFest, I thought I'd write about some of what I saw there, with no particular judgment or methodology applied. In fact, these are simply the people I bumped into and was somehow able to remember their names or retrieve their business cards. I'll do a couple now, and hope to mention some more people later.

Elizabeth Chiles is first on my list. I like this work because it sneaks up on you and it's smart. It perhaps looks precious at first, but at it's core, it's not at all. It's happy and skewed at the same time. The work I saw was presented small and was very refreshing. I met her standing at the "portfolio walk," when FotoFest invites the public to see the work of photographers attending the portfolio review.

Also just outside the hotel. I was indoors almost all the time, but when I ventured out, I was glad to get back inside to some fresh air. Google Street View.

Triiibe is the moniker of identical triplets Kelly, Sarah, and Alicia Casilio plus pro photog Cary Wolinksy. Nicer triplets you absolutely would not be able to locate anywhere. As ordinary citizens, they are as plain, upstanding and as meritorious as can be. But as Triiibe they fool around with identity and politics and the fungibility of idenitity, and maybe the entire universe, profoundly but lighthandedly. Cary does the photographs (the sisters are performance artists) and the superb, super-clean technique plays to advantage the basic shagginess of triplets dressing up, having a ball.

The Jackson Twins naturally follow Triiibe, and cover some of the same ground. However, they certainly have their own unique identity/identities (irony intended and apologized for, but I didn't feel so sorry that I delted it). I saw a snapshot of the five of them together somewhere and heard a rumor that they might do a project together. Power to identicalness!

Chris Harrison is a photographer who is from the north of England, so far north, in fact, not only does he seem to have a Scots burr (to my American ear), he seems to have been strangely compelled to wind up living in Oslo, Norway. For me, the short, incisive paragraphs he uses to introduce the various series on his web site at least double the strength of his already meaty documentary photographs.

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