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‘Contemporary Antiques’: Louisiana through retro filters, film

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New Orleans’ Octavia Art Gallery is set to host a Louisiana-centric exhibit featuring traditional and alternative-process photographs, alongside photos from the digital filter-intensive, retro-flavored photo website Instagram. The exhibit, “Contemporary Antiques,” will open on Saturday, Dec. 1, in connection with the 7th Annual PhotoNOLA festival.

A reception is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday.

The exhibit is being curated by NOPA member Frank Relle, and is to feature work from several other Alliance members, including Thom Bennett, Debbie Fleming Caffery, Thomas Neff, Wallace Merritt, Rick Oliver,  Euphus Ruth, Victoria Ryan, Josephine Sacabo, Richard Sexton, Jennifer Shaw, Bruce Shultz and Michel Varisco.

Octavia’s show will feature 350 Instragram photos, selected from some 4,500 submissions. They come from more than 80 photographers, most unknown to the professional or artistic photo worlds. These photos will share the same exhibit space with silver gelatin prints, photogravures, and other photos processed through “antique” means, and produced by established photographers.

The show will also be, as noted above, highly Louisiana-oriented, with a central idea behind the show being how photographers represent the state via visual references to the past.More particularly, the gallery suggests that the show acts a dual metaphor, or attempts to get at, if not kill, two cultural theoretical birds with one exhibit.

The gallery puts it this way:

“In conversation and debate, business people, conservationists, and politicians ask how to move Louisiana forward while preserving her precious past. The same conversation is occurring amongst photographers and print-producing professionals as they concurrently discuss the print industries “digital death” while trying to embrace new technologies and promote the value of physical printing.

“Contemporary Antiques” will run through January 5, 2013. The Octavia Art Gallery is located at 4532 Magazine Street in Uptown New Orleans.

PhotoNOLA is an event coordinated by the Photo Alliance, in in partnership with galleries, museums and other venues citywide.