Get in the mind of photographers — amateur and professional — at Corporate and Museum Frame. 

Moments in Time

t's not often one can find, all in one setting, images of a doll's hair on fire, a dolphin, the James River and a naughty redhead doing a split. But these indeed are just a few of the offerings at The Gallery at Corporate and Museum Frame's 5th Annual Juried Photography Exhibition.

Of the 301 entries submitted, juror Brooks Johnson, curator of photography at the Chrysler Museum of Art, chose 45 works to be installed. The artists range from first-year student photographers to hobbyists to professionals. Despite the various backgrounds, techniques and materials, the juror's taste is clearly evinced by a thread of commonality woven throughout the chosen works — that of the human body, natural or manipulated, whole or dissected, real or artificial.

Juried shows by their very nature are subjective. Johnson readily admits this in his statement, noting: "[N]ext year, next month, even tomorrow, I would probably choose a different show." Nevertheless, the photographs he did select for the moment reveal an exemplary body of engaging art. So engaging, in fact, he couldn't choose a "best in show." As a result, the gallery had a ballot box at the opening where 400 votes were cast to choose the $500 prizewinner.

The people's choice was Lissa Hahn's "Tart," a C-print of the photographer performing a split in lingerie, stockings and garters while seductively biting into a strawberry. Set in a contrived living room full of such oddities as a wheelchair, a Hispanic Madonna and Child print, a skull and a deer head, the image exudes eroticism. The prurient nature of the work, however, is subtly challenged by its memento mori (or reminder of death) undertones revealed in the skull, burned-out candle and the gas mask.

Tom Chambers' two digital photomontages appear as rather sinister takes on typical childhood innocence. A red-haired girl stares at the camera as she drops her doll with hair ablaze in an eerily "Exorcist"-like manner. A young boy unfolds the outstretched wings of a dead bird. The images are rich, iconic and laden with meaning.

Dolls also make their appearance in Alyssa Salomon's daguerreotypes. These beautiful silver-coated metallic plates document tiny mannequins before various settings. Uncannily, their reflective quality mirrors the viewer, reminding one of the reflexive nature of photography itself.

Other striking works include: Jacinta Quesada's mixed-media photographs mounted on paper delicately strung together with rope; the etching ink bromoil of a chalky, evocative reclining nude by Robert Greene; Gene Laughter's "Spare Parts I," a modern-day vernicle of a languid head printed on cloth; and the exquisitely composed landscapes of Robert Alexander Williams and George Collier.

Despite several landscapes and tree studies, the majority of the works selected deal with the body in all its corporeal variations. Further, those who submitted two or three photographs of similar style had a greater chance of being included in the show, per the juror. For Johnson, several entries hint at a "body of work" where greatness can more clearly be revealed. As he wrote, "I believe that the nature of the photographic medium is such that everyone will, at some time, make a great photograph. The difficulty comes in consistently making great photographs."

"2001 Annual Juried Photography Exhibition" is showing at the Gallery at Corporate and Museum Frame, 301 W. Broad St., through Jan. 30.

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