The Optical

juried by Allan Chasanoff

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lisa Martel 

PORTLAND, Oregon - Blue Sky, the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, has opened a Call for Entries for a unique exhibition juried by Allan Chasanoff, The Optical


The Optical

Call for Entries


We've all had the experience of looking at a photograph and not being able to decipher it right away. We ask ourselves "What am I looking at?" Photographer and collector Allan Chasanoff became a connoisseur of this interval of confusion before the image resolves. He found a visceral pleasure in confronting an image that refused to make visual sense, delighting in its resistance and delighting again when that resistance was overcome - a delicious tension and release.


"To be hit by a dislocation transcends the visual alone, and there is a momentary visceral response. It stuns me. It interrupts the stare and startles me. Thus, a major part of my effort in collecting pictures was to find those that did that. The photograph, the genre, the history and the aura of the picture are secondary to this shock. That is why I collected so-called straight images, for a dislocation in the usual." - Allan Chasanoff


Mr. Chasanoff spent nearly 20 years collecting more than 1,200 of photographs, many of which embodied this optical problem in photography ("the Optical"), and donated that collection to Yale University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Now he has agreed to jury for Blue Sky a show of your (single-exposure, non-photoshop, "straight") photographs that resist immediate visual deciphering.


For examples of the the type of photos Mr. Chasanoff is seeking for this exhibition, follow this link to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and reference these publications: First Doubt - Optical Confusion in Modern Photography: Selections from the Allan Chasanoff Collection and Tradition and the Unpredictable.


* What do I send? - 8"x10" or 8.5"x11" unmatted and unmounted prints. Mr. Chasanoff will make his selections from the very print you submit. Please, send no more than three prints.


* Where do I send them? - The Optical, Blue Sky Gallery, 122 NW 8th Avenue, Portland, OR 97209, USA.


* When do I send them? - They need to arrive at Blue Sky by March 1, 2013.


* What is the entry fee? - There isn't one. Blue Sky is funded by its members and supporters. If you like what we do, please join us.


* When is the actual show? - July 5-28, 2013.


* What if Mr. Chasanoff is deliciously visually confused enough by my work to select it for the show? - We will inform you right away and request that you send a framed print to Blue Sky for exhibition by June 21, 2013. Blue Sky will cover costs for return shipment.


* Is this show going to be great? - Yes.


* Whom do I contact with questions? - Lisa Martel, Blue Sky's Exhibition Coordinator, 503-225-0210 


Blue Sky, the Oregon Center for the Photographic Arts, is an exhibition space and resource center for artists, the general public, and the national and international photographic communities, located in Portland's historic DeSoto Building, on the east side of the North Park Blocks between NW Davis and Couch Streets.

Blue Sky's mission has remained steadfast since 1975: to educate the public about photography and support the careers of photographic artists by creating conversations between photographers and the world, and presenting and documenting their work for international audiences and future generations through exhibitions, lectures, and print and digital publications.

Blue Sky, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is funded in part by its members, and:

Blue Sky's generous supporters

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