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This year's “Photography Now: Either/And” exhibit at The Center for Photography at Woodstock received a record 370 submissions. Confronted with the task of judging hundreds of photos, curator Leslie A. Martin (director of content at the Aperture Foundation) found herself examining both the definition and value of contemporary photography. “On one hand,” Martin considers, “we encounter a staunch defense of 'reality-based' photography via traditional film and camera optics; on the other, an increase in the use of photographs–staged, found, and digitally remixed.”

Martin settled on 20 photographs for “Photography Now,” concluding that contemporary photography isn't about “a zero-sum approach of either/or to the medium, but rather either/and.” The exhibit will be presented in two parts, 10 photographs each.

As the name suggests, Part I: “The New Skew” focuses on artists challenging conventional genres and ways of seeing in photography. Jordon Tate's “New Work #41,” which depicts multi-colored boxes on a cell phone screen set against the quilted squares of a faded orange seat cushion, comments on how images work to show the contrast between representation and reality.

Part II of “Photography Now,” entitled “The New Docugraphics” shows photographs in the New Topographical style. This genre layers personal experience and documentary subjects with the global community, or commonly, the North American landscape. For example, “Protective” by Jennifer Wilkey, shows a woman bound by a face mask covered with bug-like embroidery. Wilkey's work mixes actuality with staged media to demonstrate how society handles disease and trauma.

In addition, award-winning, multi-media artist Andrew Neumann's “Partly Cloudy Mostly Sunny” will be on display this summer. Neumann utilizes objects like LCD screens, wires, languages, codes, photographs, and film in his art, challenging the viewer to see both the advancements of modern technology and to question it. To accomplish this, he often places contradictions side-by-side, the moving image versus the still image, organic matter versus electronic matter.

The reception for Part I: “The New Skew” will be held on June 12 from 5pm to 7pm and the exhibit will run through July 18. Part II: “The New Docugraphics” will have its reception on July 26 from 5pm to 7pm and conclude on August 29. “Partly Cloudly Mostly Sunny” will open with a reception featuring a talk by Andrew Neumann on June 12. The exhibit will close on August 29. The Center for Photography At Woodstock. 679-9957; www.cpw.org.

click to enlarge "New Work #41" by Jordan Tate.
  • "New Work #41" by Jordan Tate.
click to enlarge "Protective" by Jennifer Wilkey.
  • "Protective" by Jennifer Wilkey.
click to enlarge "P.C.M.S." by Andrew Neumann.
  • "P.C.M.S." by Andrew Neumann.
click to enlarge "Wish You Were Here" by Andrew Neumann.
  • "Wish You Were Here" by Andrew Neumann.

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