Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Tuesday Grab Bag: will work for health care

You know, I'd love to spend some time thinking/writing/discussing photography, but Sam's home sick and I've got another issue that's taking precedence: health insurance. I've got a letter here from my insurance company that says my benefits are going to expire in three weeks. Also, due to a series of premature and slightly embarrassing previously diagnosed afflictions (do you have gout? I sure do.), no insurance company will touch me unless they're required to cover me by law. That said, between my monthly premiums for insurance and my out of pocket expenses for medications, the health insurance costs for my family of four run over $10,000 per year, with over half of that just being mine. And gout is known as the "rich man's disease"? Anyone want to trade? I'll offer up a 30 x 40 print in exchange for Allopurinol and Lisinopril. Any suggestions? Well, besides diet and exercise.

Aside from solving my health care problems, perhaps I can get you to solve a teaching dilemma too:

In my Friday class this week, I want to give my students an assignment centered on the theme of love/Valentine's Day, but still need to gather up more resources and examples to show and inspire. Aside from that great "Niagara" Magnum photo essay (one of my favorite things on the internet), what else comes to mind? Loosely related is fine. In fact, that's probably best. Maybe Jason Fulford's "Crushed"?

Aside from these dilemmas, it's been a pretty good week. For others from the Gem State too:



and myself

Frank Arisman giving a talk at the Rooke gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa.
I think that's the edge of my picture there.

Aside from all the people & photographs in the photo above, I see an elephant in the room. Plenty of my previous posts have dealt with, and brought in great commiseration on, rejection. But now I've got another issue to deal with- how do I write about it when I get in? With all my bitching/pontificating about rejection, it feels false to ignore the occasional acceptance.

It ends up that while I was writing my previous post about making work for the sake of making work and not for getting in to this or that show, the scene above was going on at the Rooke gallery in Johannesburg, South Africa where the selections of the Society of Photographers 6x6 competition were being announced. I got the good news a little later that day.

So yeah, I'm excited. I'm happy. But then again, I have at least two friends (not Alexis or Ron) who were also under consideration but didn't get chosen. If I were to draw attention to their work here would it be embarrassing for them? The last time I had a go at Jen Bekman's Hey Hot Shot I was featured on their blog as "coming back for round two" and then rejected the next day. At the time I certainly would have preferred stewing alone in my basement to the publicized rejection.

Well, as i've previously ranted about, I think it always helps, whether the work's in or out, to take the jurying process with a big hunk o' salt. By design, any committee decision leads to the common denominator(s), not necessarily what any one of us might think is the best work.

There were a few things about this Society of Photographers process that I really liked. For starters, everyone who submitted work got to view all the entries as well as vote on them (though our votes didn't count worth as much as the guest jurors). I also like the fact that there was more of an International mix in this, some great work from Africa and Eastern Europe that I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. Also, comments were heavily encouraged and the comments given are printed right there alongside the work in the book. Ultimately, as an artist, I don't really want that baggage printed right there alongside the pictures (even when it's positive), but as a participant, I do welcome the feedback. It's pretty interesting (and a little frustrating) to see how some that I'd thought were shoe-ins didn't make it in. And of course, I can't help but keep in mind that the same pictures I'd submitted have seen plenty of rejections in the past as well.

Anyhow, I'll just take this for what it is- a lucky break that justifies buying the next round. Just remind me that the next time you see me, I owe you a beer.

Just don't tell my doctor.


kevinsisemore said...

Congratulations Shawn - When 6x6 is available please let me know. Thanks.

shawn said...

thanks kevin. will do.