The 17th Online Exhibition of Night Photography

The Nocturnes: Not Ready to make Nice

The "Political Show"

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1918

The invites all interested artists to enter "The Nocturnes: Not Ready to make Nice". . . " - our latest online Night Photography Exhibition. This competition is open to all night photographers, all photo media - traditional B/W, color, "hybrid workflows," and digital cameras are OK, too! We ask only that your final outcome would normally be a fine photographic print - b/w, color, alternative, whatever - presenting mysterious, riveting nocturnal imagery that questions the previaling political wisdom, pactice, and /or taboos. Those elements, and of course the musical connection, which we're always making here at The Nocturnes! Just in time for the new Congress!

Image Copyright Tim Baskerville

Judged by a Guest Juror to be announced, this exhibit, soon to become known as our most overt 'political show,' is curated by our own Tim Baskervile, who had this to say about the motivation behind it:

"The title for the show comes from the current hit song by the Dixie Chicks entitled 'Not Ready to make Nice' and the specific lyrical content we had in mind for this show goes like this:

"Iím not ready to make nice
Iím not ready to back down
Iím still mad as hell and I donít have time to go round and round and round
Itís too late to make it right
I probably wouldnít if I could
ĎCos Iím mad as hell
Canít bring myself to do what it is you think I should."

"Describing their bout with knee-jerk conservatism and the chilling effect it has on political commentary, that passage also mirrors some encounters that we've had, here at The Nocturnes! Now, we weren't told, as Ms. Maines and the "Chicks" were, to "shut up and sing, or [your] life will be over" - but we have been told in no uncertain terms that our previous occasional socio-political commentaries were a "real turn off" - well, at the time, we thought, the last four years (now six) had proved to be a "real turn off" for us as well, and we were just voicing that concern. This artistic censorship (self imposed or not) seems to be a recurring theme in American politics and pop culture; one in which artists are not supposed to have or present any ideas, in the political realm. We've seen this very recently with the Barbara Streisand comments to an audience member (see heckling her for a political 'skit' she was performing (with a 'W' look-alike) onstage. BTW, she told him to "Shut the fuck up. Shut up if you can't take a joke!" I think a lot of this has to do with the whole 'looks over substance' effect on pop music and culture, in this country. Sometime after the sixties (early seventies?) it became the trend for artists to feel like they had to 'shut down' or become completeley marginalized.

"And how in the world can the words that I said
Send somebody so over the edge
That theyíd write me a letter
Sayiní that I better shut up and sing
Or my life will be over."

"If you don't know what all the controversary is about, or have been living outside the country the past few years (in which case, actually you might have a even better idea of what this is all about!) - check out these links to find out more:
See the video -
Shut up and Sing movie trailer -
On Oprah -

Image Copyright Tim Baskerville

"Even in the late seventies, when I first started in Night Photography, some of the first work I did, had political overtones - an 'electrified' large American flag draped over a ghostly visage, with another on a nearby tomb-like structure; a message from overseas: I.R.A. - the letters lluminated in the colors of the Irish tri-color (back when some forms of terrorism were more acceptable than others).

"Forgive, sounds good
Forget, Iím not sure I could
They say time heals everything
But Iím still waiting.

"With all that in mind, and at the risk of alienating a few more audience members, let's stir up a little commentary, or controversy, shall we? BTW, this show is not limited to us tree-huggin liberals "wearing our politics on our sleeves" - we are looking for Night Photography that delivers any type of commentary on the current socio-political and free speech situation.