PPAC Contemporary Photography Competition Winners Showcase Now on Display
It’s that time of year again as the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (1400 N American St.) opens its Annual Contemporary Photo Exhibition. The exhibition features the work of Hannah Price and Hrvoje Slovenc, the winners of the Contemporary Photography Competition that the PPAC held, beating over 175 other entries.
After graduating from Yale University School of Art with an MFA in photography, Executive Director Sarah Stolfa founded PPAC in 2009, along with board members Tom Callan, Martin McNamara, Mary Brown and Stuart Rome.
According to the PPAC website, it is devoted to “the study, practice and appreciation of contemporary photography,” also offering classes and workshops, fine art printing services, exhibitions and lectures, and the opportunity to create work in their Artist Lab.
The concurrent solo exhibitions are a spectacle that showcase and explore the two artist’s narratives of race and immigration. Focusing on the delicate topic of identity, the concurrent solo exhibitions provide the viewer with a fascinating, insight into how identity has been construed both internally by people themselves, and externally from the outside world. Although both the exhibitions cover the issue of identity, they are inherently different in both the approach taken towards the topic, and the actual delivery of the displays.
Also graduating from Yale University School of Art with an MFA photography in 2010, Hrvoje Slovenc is a Croatian born photographer currently based in New York City. Slovenc’s exhibition at PPAC is titled, “Croatian Rhapsody: Borderlands” and explores the concept of the perception that conventional expressions of national identity are evolving into more complex and undefined entities, contributing to the ultimate goal of redefining national identity in the ever-changing world that we live in.
“As an immigrant who spent the last fourteen years of my life outside of my homeland, I wondered, If I were to rhapsodize about Croatia visually, what might that mean?” Slovenc told Spirit News. “Would I be like Homer’s epic hero, or some contemporary version thereof, who returns after being away for many years, only to find the place is unrecognizable? For the Homeric hero, nothing is as he remembered; everything has changed. His world is literally covered in mist. It’s a fraught experience, this double gesture of identification and alienation.
Hannah Price is a Philadelphia-based photographer and filmmaker, primarily documenting relationships, race politics, social perception and misperception. Price’s Photo exhibition at PPAC is titled, “Cursed by Night” and displays photographs taken in urban settings in the darkness of night. The innovative display of urban photography offers an eye-opening perspective on those who are haunted by the urban environment that surrounds them.
While in previous years, the winners of the Contemporary Photo Competition have displayed just one photograph, the 2016 exhibition grants the artists considerably more artistic freedom in which they have the opportunity to develop their ideas and showcase them to a wide audience.
Both Price and Slovenc received a $5000 honorarium from PPAC that covers production and shipping costs. The result is two very individually styled and manifested narratives of identity, race and immigration, exploring how these relevant issues relate to the contemporary world we live in.
The exhibition opened its doors on Thursday, December 8th with an artist talk and gallery walk through. It will remain open until February 25th, 2017.
With free admission, the opening hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10AM – 6PM. •