Curator’s Statement by Gerhard Clausing • There can be many things that separate people from each other. These can be physical walls and barriers, as well as social and psychological differences. Something as simple as a fence between you and your neighbor tells the other party to KEEP OUT! Naturally, borders between countries have a similar purpose, and have been handled and marked in a variety of ways over time and been sources of conflict as well. Then again, it is quite possible to overcome barriers and to stretch out your hand to others and find ways of cooperating across divides.
This month the submissions reflect both man-made barriers as well as social and psychological obstacles. The topic of overcoming obstacles reminds me of a story from the former East Germany, where one of my friends, a visitor from the West, suddenly found himself alone in a remote corner of the state library, full of ‘forbidden’ literature from the West. When he asked the attendant why no one else was using that room, the answer was that it was only for people with special clearance, and if he had walked in there, it was assumed that he had government approval. So sometimes it takes guts to overcome seemingly impossible borders and barriers, especially in this era of newly fabricated divisiveness.
Congratulations to Douglas Stockdale for having had one of his images, shown above, chosen as the keynote image. It is from his recent book, Middle Ground, and hints at the meanings that a simple barrier for freeway ‘beautification’ can imply – the separation of groups, the clashing of belief systems, the abuse of the environment through plastic, and more. Image © 2018 by Douglas Stockdale.
This time the selections are grouped by member, alphabetically by first name. Kudos to all the participants for their imaginative work: Beatta Bosworth, Diane Reeves, Douglas Stockdale, Frank Cancian, Jake Junn, Jan Brueckner, Janos Lanyi, Jim McKinniss, Karl Tani, Robert Staeck, Roger Bennett, and Stan Kuran. All images are Copyright © by each individual photographer, with websites available by clicking the name when highlighted.
This concludes one year of monthly online exhibitions. Thanks to Douglas Stockdale for the idea and for a number of fabulously curated shows, and to Nancy Albright for doing a great guest stint! And I enjoyed my contributions and participation as well. Perhaps we will have occasional exhibitions in the future. Let’s discuss it at the meetings.
And have a great rest of the summer!