4th Annual International Juried Plastic Camera Show

MAIN & SIDE GALLERIES: 03/04/11 – 04/30/11



RayKo’s Fourth Annual Juried Plastic Camera Show includes strange and stunning images made by the winners of this competition. Photographers from all over the Bay Area as well as national and international entries are featured in this dynamic exhibit. There were even more entries than last year, yet somehow we whittled it down to fewer than ninety compelling pieces. Why does the plastic camera continue to be so popular? Is it because the toy camera is a backlash to this digital age of photography? It could be nostalgia for the soft, square pictures with vignetted edges. It could just be nostalgia for film and the latent image- you actually have to wait to see what you shot! Or it could be love of the creak of the cheap plastic dial as you wind it, wondering if it will break off. (Forget the Hipstamatic app, this is the real deal). It could be too that we all missed the simple freedom of making pictures that aren’t perfect, that don’t have to be sharp or real or saturated or taken with a camera that costs thousands of dollars. All you need is $35 (or less) and a roll of film, and you’re in business.

Also highlighted in this exhibition is the work Michelle Bates, author of the book “Plastic Cameras: Toying with Creativity.” Michelle will be teaching a special class on plastic cameras the weekend of April 23-24 in conjunction with this show. Signed copies of her book will be available at the opening where you can fall in love with Holga and Diana* and a world of other lo-tech cameras. Also featured in the exhibition is the photography of Sam Grant, whose tiny dreamlike photographs look like they were taken in 1840 instead of 2010. Come see the magic and experience nostalgia on more than one level.

*The Holga and the Diana are plastic medium format cameras that have limited controls, a fixed focal length lens, and, luckily for artists everywhere, each one is unique…