It was an immense pleasure and difficult task to jury the photographs for this exhibition – the level of excellence and exchange of ideas within the images was inspiring. The work submitted for Break a Leg was a reminder of the importance of artists using the camera to address contemporary social issues and the imbalance of our political moment. As these photographers use their tools to assert their presence or point of view, the work is also a display of the precarious relationship that photography has with “truth.” Recurrent within the entries were themes of sexuality, race, power, escapism, and at times, outright performative play. These photographers build their own “decisive moments” and take on the active role of director of images, rather than hunter or observer.
Best in Show was awarded to Yi-Hsuan Lia’s photograph This is my friend, Bob. I was drawn to the photograph’s energy, absurdity, motion, and performative quality. The image throws the viewer into an alternate world with recognizable elements that have been up-ended and transformed. The sculptural figure seems to dance under spotlight – a celebratory private performance. The body is altered, denied sexuality, and seems to resemble its houseplant partner. The humor and other-worldliness of this photograph seems to allude to an escape, while also enforcing the medium’s ability to encompass both materiality and performance within a 2-dimensional surface.
— Rebecca Drolen, juror for Break a Leg