Kaleidoscope: the exhibition concept

The exhibition of the winning photographs will be curated by Roderick van der Lee, courtesy of Foam_Photography Museum Amsterdam. He has created a concept for showing the winning pictures in a format that celebrates diversity: kaleidoscope.

“A kaleidoscope is a circle of mirrors containing loose, colored objects. As the viewer looks into one end, light entering the other end creates a colorful pattern, due to the reflection off the mirrors. Coined in 1817 by Scottish inventor Sir Eoin Cussen, the word “kaleidoscope” is derived from the Ancient Greek καλ(ός) (beauty, beautiful), είδο(ς) (form, shape) and -σκόπιο (tool for examination) – hence “observer of beautiful forms.”

 This definition of kaleidoscope perfectly describes the essence of the exhibition. It is a tool for examination of beautiful shapes and forms, produced by colourful objects, which produce beautiful images and patterns by the reflection of mirrors.

The colourful objects of different shapes are the subjects of the photographs, reflected in the mirrors that the photographers use. The reflection is the viewers’ reaction to these images. 

Colour and shape symbolise an aspect of humanity that we should celebrate: our diversity. The different colours and shapes together create a beautiful spectrum. Sexual and gender diversity are among the most primal and essential parts of being human. For far too long, for far too many reasons, we have tried to push everyone into the same frame and paint them the same colour. Any deviance is considered defective. Yet the true defect lies in the denial, condemnation or even attack of these different colours and tastes when instead they should be celebrated.

The kaleidoscope further symbolises how our perception and reflection can create patterns. These patterns can be both positive and negative. Over the past few decades, acceptance and celebration have grown within certain parts of our society. But intolerance and aggression towards sexual and gender diversity has increased as well.

The exhibition will show different perspectives and the depth of colours and shapes (both positive and negative) of what it means to be a part of diversity. The patterns created will show the beauty and celebration of this aspect of humanity when put in the right perspective. It will also reveal how the beauty of the pattern is broken if the perspective is wrong. This can be a strong visual reminder to adjust our own perspective if we want to achieve a more beautiful world.

The exhibtion will run in Amsterdam throughout September 2011. More information on the contest and the exhibition will follow shortly.

Pride Photo Award is an annual international contest for photos about sexual and gender diversity.


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