Exhibition preview: After all these years “ImageOHIO 14” still fresh, innovative

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From the January 23, 2014 edition

Even in its 14th year, the annual, juried exhibition ImageOHIO is still an original and innovative collection of works. The exhibit has evolved over the years, initially with a sole focus on photography, adding video a few years back and digital artwork last year. While the inclusion of new genres is important to staying on the cutting edge, ImageOhio’s originality stems more from its works and their approach to the medium.

“A lot of the photos are breaking some of the traditional rules for what a photo should be; it causes you to stop, notice them and explore them,” said Ken Aschliman, gallery director of ROY G BIV Gallery, which presents the ImageOHIO exhibition.

There’s a one-hand-washing-the-other aspect to this year’s selections — many of which are first-timers to ImageOHIO — as this year’s jurors, Aspen Mays (assistant professor of art at Ohio State) and Shannon Benine (assistant professor of photography and multimedia at the CCAD), sought out the more groundbreaking works among the submissions.

“The jurors were also looking for … work that’s on the cutting edge, breaking the traditional rules and pushing photography and video in a different direction,” Aschliman said.

This motif is at play in many of the works, but a prime example of challenging convention is Jacob Koestler’s “Red Magnet.” He took videos of Red Rock and projected two different versions of the same video onto crumpled sheets of paper. One side is the basic projection and the other is Koestler’s manipulation of RGB, distorting all the colors.

A slightly more traditional — if that term even applies to ImageOHIO 14 — yet emotional piece is Emmily Chang’s “Massive.” The dark photo is predominantly occupied by a projection of an elephant with two silhouettes at the bottom. That one of the figures is completely ignoring the pained giant in lieu of her smart phone gives “Massive” an effective sense of sorrow in disregard.

A reception and awards ceremony, where the jurors selected a Best In Show and Juror’s Choice for both photography and video, will be 7-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24.

Image 1 by Jacob Koestler:

Image 2 by Emmily Chang

Image 3 by Jason Schwab