I’m not a great one for competitions that can’t have a definitive outcome, like the number of runs of scored or the length of time taken to complete a task. When the outcome is based upon an opinion of an expert I just can’t get past the idea that is self serving. I mean a person who has built/is building a career from championing a particular style of an activity is suddenly going to have a road to Damascus moment when promoted to judge?
Three recent photographic competitions Hyeres 2008, The Beauty of the Best and PX3 have their short lists on the net. To say that they are predictable would be an understatement; they support their prospective aesthetic with zeal. Not to say there aren’t some nice pics on display, it’s just that they are variations on what has gone before. A maintenance of the status quo which kinder undermines the reason d’etre of fine art photography which Hyeres in particular supports, if their rhetoric is to be believed.
It’s all a bit like American Idol really, the closer they get to the winner’s circle the more they sound the same. Can you imagine Bob Dylan winning Idol, even getting past the qualifying rounds? I guess he will just have to be happy with his Pulitzer.