Hanging Martin Kantor … What a Difference a Week Makes …

When I first saw images of the initial hanging of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale’s inaugural Martin Kantor Portrait Prize – including my finalist image of Noel Pearson – I was both in a state of shock and devastated.

How could they have got it so wrong …

The framed and mounted works that each individual finalist (all twenty seven of them) had spent considerable time and money on producing for the high profile show, were strewn around tawdry industrial wire fencing, hung back to back with other works of different sizes and not referenced in any cohesive fashion at all. It all looked … as photojournalism journalist Alison Stieven-Taylor wrote … “like amateur hour”. It was, indeed,  awful …

I penned messages explaining my concerns and opinions to several of the accomplished fellow finalists I knew … and they unanimously agreed. From there we decided to collectively bring our concerns to the BIFB hierarchy. I managed to find contact details for most of the Martin Kantor finalists and penned a lengthy letter (with the fine sub-editing skills of Tony Kearney) outlining our total disappointment with the hanging of our work. That letter was emailed to BIFB on Friday morning signed by 18 of the total of 27 finalists.

Credit, as they say … credit where credit is due. By Friday afternoon BIFB Festival and Creative Director Fiona Sweet delivered an apology to all of us, agreed with our concerns and promised to correct the situation. Using a new design of a hastily contacted architect (Moloney Architects) the exhibition was totally transformed and rehung … and reopened on Tuesday morning just over three days after the delivery of our collective email. The exhibition now looks worthy of the wonderful portraits of prominent Australians produced by Australia’s most accomplished photographic portraitists. Much Thanks for putting it all to rights BIFB.

Below … at top …  (Thanks to Alison Stieven-Taylor ©) … my Martin Kantor finalist work ‘Noel Pearson’ as initially hung in Ballarat Town Hall … and below … the revamped exhibition as it was reopened on Tuesday morning (courtesy BIFB ©) with my ‘Noel Pearson’ portrait now far left.

Martin Kantor Portrait Prize - exhibition rehang - Ballarat International Foto Biennale - Brian Cassey

Martin Kantor Portrait Prize - exhibition rehang - Ballarat International Foto Biennale - Brian Cassey

Duncan Miller Gallery USA …

Thanks to photography journalist and curator Alison Stieven-Taylor one of my images has been featured and offered for sale in the Duncan Miller Gallery (California) “Your Daily Photograph” selection.

Every day the Gallery selects a small percentage of the photographs submitted and offers just four for sale to the first person to ‘reserve’.

Apparently I’m humbly in very good company …  “in the recent past images from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andreas Gursky, Richard Misrach, Andre Kertesz, Edward Burtynsky and other photography legends have appeared in “Your Daily Photograph” … I’m told.

The price tag on my work is just slightly less than Gursky’s World record breaking photograph price of $4.3 million for the ‘Rhine II’. Compared to that my image is an absolute bargain …

Alison Stieven-Taylor is appearing as a guest curator on “Your Daily Photograph” for the month of August and she is responsible for the selection of my “Rajasthan Dancers”. Alison is a renowned journalist specialising in all matters of a photography nature. She is a contributor to many photo news magazines and web sites (including the prestigious L’Oeil de la Photographie) and also runs the ‘must read’ web site “Photojournalism Now”.

The link to my day of “Your Daily Photograph” is … http://eepurl.com/0eKtf … and the image in question – “Rajasthan Dancers” – appears below.

Image © Brian Cassey

Rajasthan & Holi pic essay on 'fotostrada' - copyright pics by Brian Cassey