CENTER’s Curator’s Choice Award Third Place Winner: Vivien Allender
Congratulations to Vivien Allender for her third place win in CENTER’s Curator’s Choice Awards for her series, Global T(w)eens Project. The Choice Awards recognize outstanding photographers working in all processes and subject matter and the winners receive recognition via exhibition, publication, admission to Review Santa Fe portfolio reviews and more.
Juror Lisa Hostetler, Curator-in-Charge, George , Eastman Museum shares her thoughts on her selections:
As usual with CENTER awards, there were a number of strong submissions that made selecting the finalists difficult. The ones that I chose seemed to me to be the most effective combinations of concept and form; in other words, the idea for the project and its execution were equally matched in quality and originality. It was a coincidence that the three projects all had to do with the role that photographs play in constructing ethnic, political, and national history, but the fact that materiality is an important factor in each is not. Although images on screens are increasingly important in today’s culture (and, I believe, valid as an art form), my knowing that works by the photographers would be exhibited in physical space drove me to pay particular attention to the submitters’ notes about the images’ final form. I felt that the finalists had a solid vision about the presentation of their work, as well as its concept and images.
Third place went to “Global T(w)eens,” a survey of 11- to 14-year-olds in cities all over the world. The artist photographed the subjects against generic backgrounds and arranged the images into grids. The lack of identifying features in the landscape and the consistencies among the adolescents’ gestures and demeanor focuses attention on the commonalities of self-presentation in individuals as they navigate the transition from child to teenager, despite differences in geography and cultural experience.
Lisa Hostetler, PhD, Curator-in-Charge, George Eastman Museum
Prior to the Eastman Museum she was the McEvoy Family Curator of Photography at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and curator of photography at the Milwaukee Art Museum for seven years. Before her position in Milwaukee, Hostetler was a research associate in the photography department at the Met.
Born in Melbourne Australia, Vivien Allender moved to Tokyo at the age of 17 and here her broad fascination with world popular culture was further stimulated and refined. Her career started in Tokyo, where she photographed and wrote about the pop and youth cultures of Japan for a range of publications including Vogue. With a focus on fashion, both commercial and editorial, her work has been featured in global print and ad campaigns.
Encouraged by a mentor who sparked her curiosity in linking fine art and commercial applications Vivien recently completed a Master’s Degree at Victoria College of the Arts at Melbourne University. That unexpectedly led her to teaching and she feels privileged now to encourage new generations and have a role in nurturing talented, often international, photography students. Vivien currently lives and works in New York but loves traveling for work and pleasure and has shot in various countries throughout Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas. She is interested in finding universality through individuality, and vice-versa.
The Global T(W)eens Project
The Global T(w)eens Project is an artistic investigation that portrays pre/early teens across the globe. In these portraits I am surveying the similarities and/or differences between 11-14 year-olds from places that may seem different and distant from one another. Observing the sensitivities of these subjects through posture, gesture, gaze, attitude and clothing I document this young layer of our society, between childhood and adolescence. As the inhabitants of anincreasingly globalized world the work in this series intends to remove borders. I choose to shoot the subjects on neutral backgrounds, intentionally removing any indicators of location. The grid format is used to place the subjects side-byside, country to country, difficult to identify, open to interpretation.
So far I have shot over 300 portraits in 22 countries including Australia, Pakistan, Italy, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Colombia, Russia, Guatemala, India and Japan to name some.
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