by Joe Nalven
I enjoy seeing a fellow traveler's street revelations.
Janine Free is showing her new work - from Berlin to Arcata to Tijuana - at Gallery 21 in Spanish Village/Balboa Park.
I cherish the excitement of wandering a city and shooting the life and lives of its denizens.
But what about Janine Free?
Here is what she'll tell you when you visit her show at Gallery 21.
Street Photography to me is Documentary Photography with a sense of humor. It does not have the purpose to inform or demand your sympathy. It entertains either by being funny or by bringing out the absurdity of what you see in the streets of cities where a high density of people live.
When you walk the streets, you are an observer, time is in the present and your capacity to see amplifies details that your imagination turns into stories. Your camera becomes an extension of your state of mind, knowing exactly when all the elements are in place to capture the story. Interesting stories are rarely simple, they are always in flux and they are made of multi-layered narratives. That is why I am so attracted to reflections off store windows and the clues that mannequins, those permanent residents, give you to help compose and freeze in time a slice of urban life.
I always stay in a city for weeks, until I begin to feel its essence and its place in history. I am satisfied when my photographs can capture the sense of place shaped through time both by the past events and the present. Reflections are the visual vocabulary that I use to make that story heard by the people viewing my images. Through the humor of Street Photography, in my case portraying mannequins, I invite the viewer to use their imagination to complete the image.
I like to play with forms that challenge our perceptions by capturing ambiguous shifting of the planes of space. I use the streets as a theater and the mannequins as the actors.
Date: March 5th - 17th, 2014
Reception: Saturday March 8; Noon to 4PM
Time: 11am to 4pm daily
Location: Spanish Village, Balboa Park
Address: 1770 Village Place; Studio 21 San Diego, CA 92101