Untitled by Tod Seelie
An email just popped up in my Inbox announcing the winners of their recent King of the Road photo competition. And by "King" they really mean King.
From the email:
Tokion and Scion would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations to the winners of the King of the Road contest: Flynn Larsen, Jessica Palumbo, Rob Hann, Jorn Tomter, Drew Kelly, Tod Seelie and our Reader's Choice Winner Dustin Aksland. The eight winning photographs will be published in the May issue of Tokion in a limited edition postcard booklet...
And special thanks to our judges, Jason Lee, Michael Halsband, agnes b., Christian Patterson and Ross Evertson. Don't forget to pick up a copy of the May issue and send out a postcard to one of your fellow travelers.
Let's do some math, shall we?
The panel? Four men, one woman. (I can't imagine why they didn't ask me to participate, hmm.) Their winners? There are seven (including a Readers' Choice). One of them is a woman. It's nice to see Tod Seelie among their seven selections - he makes great work and has shown at my gallery several times since I first opened. But, y'know: COME ON.
There are lots of amazing female photographers out there. I've selected dozens of them via my own competition, Hey, Hot Shot!. I've never had to try hard. I've never had to lower my standards in order to include women.
After all the dust-up about their conferences, it's total fuck you to conceive of and promote a competition called King of the Road. Because I am a nice person and sort of a Pollyanna at heart, when I first heard about it I thought "inopportune figure of speech" in spite of our tumultuous history together. And personally, I'd rather be a King than a Queen. (Have you seen The Tudors? Henry gets to have all the fun.)
But the title + the panel + their selections + their conferences + their history adds up into one big steaming pile of misogyny.