Bydgoszcz is a special spot on the photographic map of Poland. It was here, where the only Polish factory producing light sensitive materials on a paper base (1926-2007) was located. No wonder that Bydgoszcz is the venue for the festival focused on analogue photography – Vintage Photo Festival.
The motto of this year’s, the fourth edition of this festival is A Woman Behind and in Front of the Lense. The programme includes unusual exhibitions, among which a special attention attracts the first ever presentation of photographs by Masha Ivashintsova, called the Russian Vivian Maier, discovered somewhere in the attic of a house in Saint-Petersburg.
Until recently, Masha Ivashintsova (1942-2000) was a completely unknown photographer. When 30 thousand negatives and 500 prints along with memoirs were found, the world learnt about a talented artist from Russia, who moved in the underground Leningrad (former USSR) society of poets and photographers and who actively participated in the life of bohemian life of the 1960s to 1980s.
All Masha’s photographs, consisting of the Brought to Light exhibition, will be presented such as her daughter Asya found them – with all the traces left on them by time: dust, scratches and bends. The photographs, placed in light-boxes, indicate the non-narrative character of the exhibition.
“We are taking the challenge to show Masha’s negatives in a raw state, like non-polished diamonds,” – says Katarzyna Gębarowska, the director of the festival. – “The artist’s pictures are like streets of Saint-Petersburg, which she photographed. No matter they are clear or not, they reflect the beautiful, cool light of the North.”
There will also appear Arunà Canevascini, the winner of this year’s Photo London Book Dummy Award with her project Villa Argentina. There will be also an opportunity to see projects of the finalists of the last two editions of LensCulture Portrait Award – Eric Schuett’s Village Queens and Shuwei Liu’s Childhood Revisited as well as the laureates of the international 2018 Vintage Grand Prix contest. Certainly, an additional attraction of the festival will be the presentation of photographs from the Joanna and Krzysztof Madelski’s collection, chosen exclusively for this exhibition, and the presentation of the 20 laureates of this year’s edition of the DEBUTS project.
Traditionally, during the festiwal numerous meetings and workshops will take place. The programme of the festival consists of discussion panel devoted to collecting photographs and screenings of films on old techniques. A special attention deserves the film by Eva Ionesco My Little Princess, based on her memories. The film, set in Paris of the 1970s, tells about life of a 10 years old girl, whose mother, a photographer belonging to the Parisian bohemia, turns her into a model, her muse. Bold photographs of the small girl sparked outrage in the artistic world.
More info @ vintagephotofestival.com
4th Vintage Photo Festival
October 12-27, 2018
The 2018 Vintage Photo Festival is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
This year’s edition of Fotofestiwal, which touches upon the issues of nature and humanity, contributes to the global ongoing debate on environmental awareness. Scope of activity of the artists and curators creating the festival goes beyond simply documentation, it also includes exploration of nature’s change in the ethical, political and historical context. Fotofestiwal 2018 delves deep not only into the environmental problems plaguing today’s world, but also the solutions which are supposed to hold a key to human race’s survival and to offer us a unique chance to relish in the power of nature in all its glory.
This year’s edition of Fotofestiwal encompasses: almost 30 exhibitions; over 100 guests; 2 competitions: Grand Prix Fotofestiwal and Photobook of the Year; International Photography Night organised in collaboration with Futures – European Photography Platform; Three Hugger, the spectacular art installation in a public space; 2 portfolio reviews aimed at professional and emerging photographers; film section; Parallel – European Photo Based Platform project; educational programme; series of workshops; meetings; slideshows; concerts; and Fotofestiwal Kids.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch of almost 192 million pounds worth of marine debris is floating somewhere in the ocean between California and the Hawaiian Islands. The patch, five the size of Poland, causes the extinction of over 5 thousand animal species a year. It has already wiped out over 95 percent of the organisms in the Great Barrier Reef. Within the next couple of years, we will most probably witness the death of the entire coral reef. An exponential number of research lends credence to the irreversible human impact on the current state of the environment. In the wake of the 18th century agricultural revolution, humanity has established its dominance over animals, nature and its resources. As a result, some experts argue that we already live in the so-called Anthropocene – the human epoch – although a scientific debate about the actual gravity of our environmental footprint on earth, which would justify its announcement, remains unresolved. Nevertheless, the Anthropocene has not only become an environmental and humanist buzzword, but also a point of reference for many contemporary artists.
Human Nature is the title of the exhibition programme comprising seven solo shows and one group show that together build a narrative about the human relation to nature. Some of the art projects emphasise people’s devastating impact on the environment, while other propose solutions to the most burning ecological issues. A majority of artists based their projects on an extensive research, consulted scientific journals, articles and archives, collaborated with experts in various fields, as well as participated in the science expeditions. They’re all actively engaged in disseminating their findings concerning the plight of Anthropocene.
Human Nature will stage the presentation of Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation by Mathieu Asselin, which premiered at Les Rencontres de la Photographie in Arles, France. Last year, the widely-discussed and critically acclaimed art project most likely received the highest accolades in the field, such as the Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Award. Mathieu Asselin’s investigative reportage about the history of Monsanto, one of the largest biotechnology corporations in the world, bears testimony to the havoc its practices have wreaked on nature, climate change, global environmental policies, communities and people’s lives. -> Read an interview with Mathieu Asselin and see his project @ doc! photo magazine vol. Q9 #44.
Claudius Schulze decided to examine the way natural catastrophes and the threat of climate change affect the picturesque landscape you’ve probably seen a million times before on postcards and in vacation photo albums. The photographer packed his 4×5 large format camera into a van, along with his cat, and took a 31 thousand miles journey along the coast of Europe in order to raise awareness of natural disaster management’s influence on the shape of landscapes. -> See Claudius Schulze’s project Statue of Nature @ doc! photo magazine vol. Q9 #44.
Mandy Barker, an award-winning British photographer, recipient of many awards, including IPA and Lens Culture Earth Award, among other, specialises in aerial shots of oceanic plastic debris depicted as ‘marine creatures.’ Her works were exhibited at such institutions as the Aperture Foundation in New York City, the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Photographers’ Gallery in London.
Another esteemed guest of Fotofestiwal will be Dornith Doherty, a Guggenheim Foundation Fellow. For a decade, she has studied the largest seed banks in the world in collaboration with renown biologists. Her impressive oeuvre encompasses, for instance, the series of intriguing x-ray images of seeds.
One of the festival exhibitions presents Christmas Island, Naturally, an art project of Robert Zhao Renhui (-> doc! #26), a Singaporean visual artist whose series of photographs portrays the natural environment of animals and plants. The founder of the Institute of Critical Zoologists is well-versed in the most recent developments in biological research, as well as the role of nature in the equivocal and marginal aspects of human life. Robert works together with scientists, zoologists and botanists, which to be fair does not guarantee the authenticity of his photographs.
Inter-Species Conservation is a title of the exhibition featuring works by the Polish women artists: Joanna Rajkowska, Karolina Grzywnowicz and Anna Zagrodzka. The exhibition examines the notion of Anthropocene and visual representation of nature in art.
Furthermore, the finalists of the Grand Prix Fotofestiwal 2018, selected from the total of 630 applicants living in 59 countries, will participate in their long-awaited joint exhibition. The unveiling of the finalists’ art projects is the most prominent and exciting event of the festival since the winner of the Main Prize (PLN 10,000.00) will be announced during the exhibition opening.
Apart from the festival centres, a variety of associated events will be held in a majority art galleries and cultural institutions in Łodź, which became our official partners. It is worth mentioning two of them here. Vienna House Andel’s Łódź, which will traditionally host the first public presentation of the DEBUTS project’s laureates (-> Saturday, June 23 at 7.00 PM), and Imaginarium Gallery, where the long-awaited premiere of the second book by Hubert Humka (-> doc! #37) – Death Landscapes (Warsaw: BLOW UP PRESS, 2018) will take place (-> Sunday, 24 June at 5.00 PM).
This year’s film programme also revolves around the theme of nature. A new feel-good film section features significant milestones in the history of nature-themed celluloid entertainment: from Percy Smith’s visual flair scored by Tindersticks – Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith (dir. by Stuart A. Staples; UK: BFI, 2016) and the BBC’s Planet Earth II (dir. by David Attenborough; UK: BBC One, 2016) , through Hitchcock’s classic The Birds (dir. by Alfred Hitchcock; USA: Universal Pictures, 1963) and independent films of San Francisco from the VHS era, to the midnight screenings. Our line-up features the latest documentaries about photographers, such as Faces Places (dir. by JR and Agnès Varda; France: Le Pacte, 2017), Master and Tatyana (dir. by Giedre Zickyte; Lithuania: MEED Films, 2015), and Instant Dreams (dir. by Willem Baptist; the Netherlands: Cinema Delicatessen, 2017), a film about people trying to keep their dreams of instant photography alive.
The special section devoted to our viewers’ educational experience, prepared in collaboration with the University of Łódź, embraces multimedia presentations, film screenings, temporal events and meetings with artists/experts in ecology. Additionally, a well-stocked reading room will give our audience members an open access to the artistic and scientific publications on nature, environment protection and sustainability.
The International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL ŁÓDŹ is one of the leading festivals of photography in Europe, held in high regard due to its incredible energy and astonishing art shows orchestrated in the post-industrial venues around the city of Łódź, which have been attracting an impressive audience for several years now. It presents some of the most fascinating phenomena in contemporary photography. Professionals are offered an opportunity to hone their skills during workshops and portfolio reviews, while children may enjoy learning a thing or two on how take pictures and approach photography.
More info @ fotofestiwal.com
International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL ŁÓDŹ
June 21 – July 1, 2018
@ Art_Inkubator (@ Art Factory; 3 Tymienieckiego St., Łódź, Poland)
@ OFF Piotrkowska Centre (138/140 Piotrkowska St., Łódź, Poland)
The 17th edition of the International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL ŁÓDŹ is organised under doc! photo magazine media patronage.
It is a pleasure to announce names of 20 photographers who have been recognised by the DEBUTS 2018 jury as the most talented emerging photographers of the year and invited to the book and travelling exhibition, shown exclusively during the photographic events.
The DEBUTS 2018 winners are (in alphabetical order):
- Kirsten Bitzer (USA)
- Michele Crameri (Switzerland)
- Ilaria Di Biagio (Italy)
- Ewa Doroszenko (Poland)
- Jean-Felix Fayolle (France)
- Jordan Gale (USA)
- Ilias Georgiadis (Greece)
- Mirek Kaźmierczak (Poland)
- Paweł Łączny (Poland)
- Raj Lalwani (India)
- Camille Leveque (France)
- Sergey Melnitchenko (Ukraine)
- Filippo Nicoletti (Italy)
- Valentyn Ondoviun (Lithuania)
- Anna Pfeiffer (Italy)
- Natalia Poniatowska (United Kingdom)
- Sergey Stroitelev (Russia)
- Gihan Tubbeh (Peru)
- Federico Vespignani (Italy)
- Adam Wilkoszarski (Poland)
The first public presentation of the winners and their projects will take place this June (more information to come).
Four of the listed above photographers have also been picked out by the jurors, who this year’s were Peter Bauza (Germany), Grzegorz Kosmala (Poland), Isabella van Marle (the Netherlands), Sarker Protick (Bangladesh), and Elviera Velghe (Belgium), as their personal choice. Their names and the jurors’ justifications will be presented next week.
The third edition of the W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography will transform the seaside Sopot into a centre of Polish photography once again. Lovers of the art of photography will have an opportunity to see the effects of work of the festival residents – the leading Polish photographers. Artistic residences are typical of Sopot’s festival. The selection of impressive authors, expressing themselves in different kinds of photographic art lets gather enthusiasts of different interests around one event. To this year’s edition of the festival, its Art Director, Tomasz Bergmann, invited artists using different stylistic formula: documentarists who also know the language of abstraction as well as creative authors also expressing themselves in modern documentary forms: Kuba Dąbrowski, Zuza Krajewska, Adam Lach (doc! #18), Rafał Milach (doc! #19), Tadeusz Rolke (doc! #11) and Ilona Szwarc (doc! #7).
The title frames of the festival are taken from the literally meaning while the idea of the organisers expresses the concept from behind the world of limits. The total freedom of creativity, given to artists by the town, encourages to cross the frames. Sopot offers them its physical tissue and the photographs are allowed to use everything that is nonmaterial. According to the organisers, the cyclic formula of the festival will create a multidimensional portrait of the place as well as the changing reality.
The projects done in the frames of the artistic residences will be presented as the main exhibition of the festival (curator: Maja Kaszkur). The exhibition will be supported by many artist’s talks and workshops.
Further attractions of the 3rd edition of W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography are:
- Places. Reconstruction III, monographic exhibition of Tadeusz Rolke curated by Marek Grygiel;
- Single Shot, collective exhibition originally organised by the Fort Institute of Photography and curated by Krzysztof Miękus;
- Freefall, individual exhibition of Pszemek Dzienis originally organised by the Leica 6×7 Gallery Warsaw;
- DEBUTS (edition 2017), post-competition exhibition of the project organised by doc! photo magazine;
- outdoor exhibition of Łukasz Gawroński;
- project by students of the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts curated by Wojtek Wieteska;
- presentation of works by students of the Sopot School of Photography and Instagrammers.
W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography
@ Sopot (Poland)
September 8-10, 2017
The 3rd edition of the W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
New realities, quasi-biographies, weird, unbelievable worlds. This year, Fotofestiwal has invited artists who use fiction to comment on ‘here and now.’ They will draw you into a game, where boundaries between the real and the unreal are no longer so obvious. Hence the title of the 16th edition of Fotofestiwal – DASZ WIARĘ? / CAN YOU IMAGINE?
Fotofestiwal is one of the most significant photography events in this part of Europe. It gathers photographers from all over the world, presenting their works at exhibitions visited by thousands of viewers. Fotofestiwal is an opportunity for the audience to discover the most interesting phenomena of contemporary photography, while for photographers – to broaden their knowledge during workshops and the portfolio review.
This year, the viewers will face imagined realities and participate in a game in which they will no longer be just passive observers. The artists who participate in Dasz wiarę? / Can you Imagine? say: don’t believe photography, ask questions, be an attentive observer. Dialogue with the audience of Dasz wiarę?/ Can you imagine? is strengthened by subtle, (un)real installations by Noémie Goudal and the latest project called Provisional Arrangements by Martin Kollar, a renowned absurd seeker.
The curator’s exhibition will be prepared by one of the most intriguing artists of the young generation – Augustin Rebetez. He is known for his signature – black birds, human-like creatures and incredible structures that have made appearance in the minimalist gallery halls of Berlin, Paris, Lausanne, Arles, Mexico City or Montreal, among others. Trash Cans for Hearts and People Have No Soul, a chorus exhibition curated by Augustin Rebetez, is more than a photography exhibition – it is a total artistic universe, which Rebetez creates together with sixteen other artists, including David Favrod (winner of the 2014 Grand Prix Fotofestiwal), Christian Patterson, Birthe Piontek, Reiner Riedler and Yumiko Utsu.
The team of curators will present the set of works authored by the master of artistic mystification – Joan Fontcuberta. This will be the first in Poland presentation of such a large collection of works by one of the best known artists, curators and theoreticians of photography. Fontcuberta’s works have been presented in the most renowned arts institutions in the world. In Łódź, we will see three of his projects: Fauna, Herbarium and Constellations, which have significantly influenced the understanding of contemporary photography. Herbarium and Constellations take us to the fantasy world of quasi-botany and pseudo-astronomy. Fauna is a seemingly documentary project about research conducted by an unknown biologist, who discovers new animal species. A snake with centipede’s legs or a monkey having a body of a horse are only examples of what Fontcuberta ‘captured.’ It could change the history of science… if only it was real.
This year’s Fotofestiwal theme will also be reflected at the photo book exhibition and selected film screenings. However, Fotofestiwal is not only about the world of fiction – the NOOR agency (doc! #7), known for its strictly documentary photography, will organise workshops for photographers and the celebration of its 10th anniversary.
Traditionally, the festival will begin with announcement of the results of Grand Prix competition, presenting the most interesting phenomena of contemporary photography. One out of ten finalists – Loulou d’Aki, Andrea & Magda, Zeng Ge, Dominika Gęsicka (doc! #26), Wojciech Grzędziński (doc! #11), Vittorio Mortarotti & Anush Hamzehian, Alexandra Lethbridge, Jerome Ming, Viacheslav Poliakov and Oliver Tooke – will receive the prize of PLN 10,000. The competition works will be presented at the exhibitions and slideshows in the urban space.
The main programme of the 2017 Fotofestiwal Łódź is enriched with:
- lots of accompanying exhibitions, including the premier show of the DEBUTS (edition 2017)’s laureates as well as individual exhibitions of Viviane Sassen (doc! #5) or Rafał Milach (doc! #19);
- photobook exhibitions (Kassel Dummy Award 2017 and Photo Publication of the Year);
Fotofestiwal Kids, a series of workshops for the youngest ones, guided walks around exhibitions and a playground where parents may leave their children under care, while they themselves can see the exhibitions.
Next to the photo exhibitions, events, evening slideshows, artist’s talks and guided walks, the festival will also include film screenings (thanks to partnership with Transatlantyk Film Festival): premieres of most interesting documentaries about photography and photographers (i.e. Josef Koudelka and Robert Frank), some works that are a result of the search for a new film form that includes photography, and short photo-films presented earlier at the Les Nuits Photographie Festival.
More info @ www.fotofestiwal.com
@ Łódź (Poland)
June 1-11, 2017
The International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL ŁÓDŹ is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
This is already the third DEBUTS final, the initiative which aims to discover and promote the most talented emerging Polish photographers. In these days where images surround us everywhere choosing people has not been an easy task. Additionally, the majority of these images are bland and are instantly forgotten as we flick through the pages of a newspaper or skip between television channels and websites. How do we find the best images in this ocean of mediocrity? How to ensure the good pictures reach a wider audience?
“To find an answer these questions is why we started our project,” – says Grzegorz Kosmala, editor-in-chief of doc! photo magazine. – “We want to present the photography enthusiasts, who care, who are worth watching, despite the fact that they are at the beginning of their artistic roads, in the hope that with our support their careers will flourish and not trundle into a blind alley.”
What do the emerging Polish photographers tell us in their pictures? What preoccupies their minds? They discuss the issues that, at certain moments, are important in everybody’s life: the joy of experiencing childhood, loneliness after the loss of a loved one, anxiety about the future. They observe and document their nearest surroundings; comment on the reality around them. Sometimes photography helps them accept themselves, and sometimes it lets them take refuge in ideal world they themselves have created.
“As I dived deeper and deeper into the stories, the images, the portfolios the intensity raised,” – says Mads Nissen, member of the DEBUTS (edition 2016) jury. – “All of a sudden, I realised that I was not just staring into a screen – I was staring out. Out through the eyes of a young and talented Polish man or woman. Out on the world that surrounds him – but even more interesting than the naked facts – I was looking at his surroundings through the intriguing gaze of his mysterious mindset. That is photography for me. The photography I was looking for. The photography that tells us important stories about people and the realities that surround them, but always told with the photographers engaged and distinct voice. Because, if we don’t feel much when we take the picture – for sure – neither will anyone else when they see the image. And if the images are too sharp – too precise – then there is no room for thoughts. In the portfolios that I selected, I found just that, that magic that makes photography something much bigger than pictures.”
Despite of the range of photography we have to deal with – documentary, travel, street, fashion or fine art – all the portfolios are combined by the conscious use of the medium. The 40 people, whose photographs are presented at the exhibition and in the book, prove that the photography is something more than just pictures. It is about capturing forever emotions and life’s experiences. It is a joyful moment and a link between the present and the past, as well as a great gift for the future. It is a commentary on the photographer’s “here” and “now”, and it is up to us, the recipients, how we will decode this commentary. It requires us to open our minds to these pictures and to take the photographer’s point of view. Only then we will be able to decode his/her message. Only then we will understand his/her way of thinking. Only then we will be able to see ourselves in these pictures. So little and at the same time so much.
Jury: Calin Kruse (Germany), Petra Leene (the Netherlands/USA), Mads Nissen (Denmark), Moshe Rosenzveig (Australia), Grzegorz Kosmala (Poland)
Photographers: Basia Abramowicz, Joanna Bałaś, Adam Biernat, Katarzyna Bojko-Szymczewska, Alicja Brodowicz, Patryk Bułhak, Katarzyna Czerniak, Natalia Dołgowska, Kamil Domański, Tytus Grodzicki, Małgorzata Gwiazdonik, Edyta Jabłońska, Marta Kaczmarek, Julia Kaczorowska, Marta Kiela-Czarnik, Barbara Kosakowska, Katarzyna Kubiak, Magdalena Kuca, Artur Kucharczak, Dominika Kucner, Jacek Laube, Anna Lemke, Paweł Malinowski, Michał Matejko, Jakub Michalec, Maciej Narożny, Ola Nguyen Van, Laura Ociepa, Michał Orliński, Arkadiusz Pisarek, Arek Rataj, Sandra Recka, Marta Rybicka, Wojciech Ryziński, Małgorzata Skrzypczyk, Kamil Śleszyński, Weronika Twardowska, Dominik Witaszczyk, Weronika Woźniak, Aleksandra Zinkiewicz
2016 Fotofestiwal Łódź
HIT THE ROAD: Photographers’ Travel
June 9-19, 2016
More info @ www.fotofestiwal.com
The 15th International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL Łódź is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
This year’s anniversary edition of Fotofestiwal will begin on June 9 and last until June 19, 2016. The main theme of the fifteenth festival will be the experience intrinsically linked to photography from its very beginning – travel and the various forms of its recording and presentation. The main theme, HIT THE ROAD: Photographers’ Travel will comprise not only generic postcard photography, but also the forms that transcend it – conceptual, press and documentary photography.
The festival will take a look at the works of Robert Rauschenberg, co-creator of pop-art, and at the photographs of David “Chim” Seymour, one of the originators of the world famous Magnum Photos agency. The exhibitions under the HIT THE ROAD scheme are curated by Alison Nordström, the art director of the Fotofestiwal and former curator of George Eastman House at Rochester (NY, USA).
One of the regular sections of the festival is the Grand Prix. It begins with the photo contest and ends with the publication of its results as well as the opening of the final exhibitions. The winner of the Grand Prix, amounting PLN 10,000, will be announced during the festival opening ceremony. It will be one of the following artists:
Carlos Alba – The Observation of Trifles
The Observation of Trifles is a documentary photography project about how a foreigner finds his way in a new country and a new neighbourhood. The objects found in the street – details of letters with notes, drawings, urban furniture reproductions – are the key to an unexplored world and to new life stories.
David Fathi – Wolfgang
Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, one of the founders of quantum physics, was nicknamed the “Conscience of Physics”. But he was also known among his peers for something a bit less “scientific”. Legend says that when Pauli entered a room, experiences would fail and machinery would break down. His colleagues jokingly called this phenomenon The Pauli Effect. This series is a semi-fiction where the Pauli Effect continues to haunt everyday life at CERN. The observer is the actor in establishing what is science and what is a myth.
Nick Hannes – Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man
Over 100 million tourists flock to the Med every year. Thousands of desperate immigrants from Africa and Asia continuously attempt to cross its water in shabby boats. The project comprises pictures of the 20 countries, documenting contemporary issues such as tourism, urbanisation, migration, crisis and conflict.
Patryk Karbowski – Halfway
A middle-sized city in the centre of Poland, halfway between the mountains and the Baltic Sea. Neither rich, nor really poor, with a typical history of the region’s industrial capital which blossomed in the times of state socialism and lost that position after 1989. A halfway state, in between present and past, between East and West, between here and now.
Birte Kaufmann – The Travellers
The Travellers project gives insight into the everyday life of Ireland’s largest minority group. This group has a nomadic origin, stemming from the tradition of migrant workers. As this tradition no longer exists, the travellers are looking for a new identity within the Western European society of the 21st century.
Karolin Klüppel – Mädchenland (Kingdom of Girls)
In the state of Meghalaya in India, the indigenous people of the Khasi with 1,1 million members form the majority of the population. Here, traditionally it is the girls who are of particular importance and who play an exposed role in the family. The succession in the maternal line guarantees girls and women in Meghalaya a unique economic and social independence in contrast to the general conditions in India.
Yurian Quintanas – Happy Nothing
For some people the desert represents decay and death. There is scarcity of water and shade, extreme temperatures and a lack of resources for humans to survive. But at the same time there is a long tradition of the desert as a place of healing, both physically and spiritually. With the Californian desert as background, Happy Nothing is a personal journey that delves into the lives of its inhabitants and its secrets.
Jewgeni Roppel – Magnit
Today, Russians are talking about Siberia, especially in esoteric and spiritual societies, as a magical place on the Earth that attracts people who are seeking spiritual or mystic experience. The phenomenon of the new desire in Siberia, and its growing interest is the topic of Magnit.
Shadman Shahid – Ajna
Shadman Shadid’s journey has a slightly different character. The word Ajna is Sanskrit means the eye that one uses to see the immaterial, to observe that which is formless. In Ajna, the author of the photographs explores human existence, looking for answers to basic questions about self-fulfillment.
Sanne De Wilde – The Island of the Colourblind
Over 250 years ago, a catastrophic typhoon swept over the island Pingelap, a tiny atoll in the Pacific Ocean, leaving only 20 survivors. One of the survivors was the king, the ruler at that time, who carried the rare achromotopsia gene that causes complete colourblindness. The king went on to have many children and by the time the island reached the 4th generation of Pingelapese after the typhoon. Most of them see the world in black and white. What would colour look like, how would they colour the world, the trees, themselves?
The International Photography Festival in Łódź will also feature slideshows, over 30 exhibitions in the OFFROAD section (including the first public presentation of the DEBUTS 2016 laureates), portfolio review, photographic workshops and photowalks as well as a large section devoted to photobooks. The festival also returns – in cooperation with Transatlantyk – to a film programme containing the freshest and the most interesting films on photographers and photography.
2016 Fotofestiwal in Łódź
HIT THE ROAD: Photographers’ Travel
June 9-19, 2016
More info @ www.fotofestiwal.com
The 15th International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL in Łódź is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Crisis? What Crisis?! is the main theme of the 14th edition of Krakow Photomonth, Europe’s leading photography festival, starting on May 12 in Cracow (Poland). The Main Program, curated by Lars Willumeit (German curator and cultural anthropologist), tries to present crisis not as a transitional phase or an anomaly, but as a characteristic trait of everyday life, a permanent state with which we must cope in practically all spheres of our lives: private, public and global. Political, economic, environmental and migration crises concern us to the same degree as crises of identity, trust, and “individuality” in the globalised world.
Nor has the crisis bypassed photography which, in our epoch of overproduction of images, is trying to find its place. The constantly changing media landscape has forced photographers – journalists, reporters and artists – to turn to new forms of communication with the viewer and creative use of source materials.
“The exhibitions presented during Krakow Photomonth, each alluding in their own way to global, social and political problems, have their own stakes in telling of the problems of the contemporary world; they are reflections upon the function of photography,” – says Lars Willumeit.
The artists invited to take part in the festival use a range of strategies to address these phenomena and to comment on them. The list opens with world-famous photographer Paul Graham, whose New Europe project has become remarkably prescient in the face of the all-too-evident crisis of “European values.” A wider global perspective comes courtesy of Swiss artist Yann Mingard who draws from the notion of the Anthropocene – the first geological epoch in history which has come about through human intervention. His project Deposit, completed between 2009 and 2013, makes visible how humankind collects, stores and classifies both biological specimens and digital information that are usually hidden from public view. To enable this, Mingard brought back images from twenty-one locations, dividing them into four sub-chapters: Plants, Animals, Humans and Data.
Another, private perspective is adopted by outstanding Polish artist Aneta Grzeszykowska in whose work we find themes of incompatibility of individuals and roles played by human bodies. This exhibition will be displayed at MOCAK where we will also have a chance to see a rising star of world photography, the youngest Magnum nominee in the agency’s history, Max Pinckers. The project presented during this year’s festival is a story about love – of the star-crossed sort, as it is forbidden by the Indian caste culture – and universal aspirations to show happiness. The artist pairs his photographs with newspaper clippings, notes, and artefacts from wedding photography studios, which might be seen as an attempt to go beyond the crisis of classical documentary photography.
The search for new forms of visual narrative in the era of the crisis of visual media is the main motif of a collective exhibition curated by Iris Sikking. The six projects presented here take on such difficult subjects as the heroin trade, genocide and migration; they are linked by a desire to go beyond a classical way of telling global histories, which the artists acknowledge to be insufficient. Here photographs on a wall are just as adequate form of response as a radio broadcast, a YouTube film or illustrations from an archive. The #Dysturb Collective speaks directly about the crisis in journalism, using the walls of buildings and advertising media to force Cracow’s inhabitants to face “street news” that seldom appears in newspaper headlines.
The strong showing of photography collectives is a notable feature of this year’s Photomonth with exhibitions of such groups as Sputnik Photos (Poland), Klara Källström & Thobias Fäldt (Sweden), Werker Magazine (the Netherlands/Spain) and Discipula (Italy).
Program of the 2016 Krakow Photomonth also includes ShowOFF section with exhibitions of young artists selected through an open competition. This year’s winners include: Martin Errichiello & Filippo Menichetti, Weronika Gęsicka, Katarzyna Hoffmann, Krzysztof Racoń, Constantin Schlachter, Michał Siarek, Kacper Szalecki and Justyna Wierzchowiecka.
As always, the festival is accompanied by such events as:
- Portfolio Review, providing an opportunity for young artists to submit their works to outstanding reviewers, with exhibition of the 2015 Griffin Art Space Prize for the best portfolio – Wiktoria Wojciechowska (DEBUTS 2014);
- Master Series meetings with both, the artists presenting their work in the Main Program and specialists to enrich the discussion around the theme of the festival or to speak of the ongoing fashion for photobooks;
- Krakow Photo Fringe, an independent platform bringing together submissions sent in by artists, animators, activists, galleries, and all those whose passion is photography, including exhibition laureates of the DEBUTS (edition 2015) in andel’s Hotel Cracow.
The program of events is also filled out with book premieres, workshops, presentations, film screenings and guided tours by the curators.
But the first exhibition of the 2016 Krakow Photomonth will take place in… Warsaw’s Dom Słowa Polskiego (11 Miedziana St., Warsaw, Poland) already on April 23. The Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong’s Poppy: Trails of Afghan Heroin presentation will be open to the public until May 3 and is a teaser for the festival.
2016 Krakow Photomonth
Crisis? What Crisis?!
May 12 – June 12, 2016
Apaches with faces always black from dust and dirt, digging deeply underground zaboykas – an underground tangle of corridors with walls full of shining coal. Magdalena Borowiec (doc! #31; DEBUTS 2014) goes down with Apaches. She shoots the toil of their work, saying that the hell may look like their shifts – wet, hot and claustrophobic, and on the surface tiny people working on the frost air just like in the paintings by Bruegel. After the collapse of the Soviet Union most of operating coal mines were closed down in Kyrgyzstan. People massively left the country for work in Russia; those who stayed in Kyrgyzstan had to start extract coal on their own. Magdalena’s photographs show not only their hard and dangerous work. Her pictures also show strange landscapes, sometimes apocalyptic, sometimes gentle and quiet.
Beata Lejman, an art historian from the National Museum in Wrocław (Poland) aptly described Magdalena’s works: “It is into a void of silence that I am drawn when contemplating the photographs of Magdalena Borowiec (in particular, her work in black and white). I emerge into space, boundless landscapes, maps of dust and shale inhabited by the nearly traceless individuals whose physical exteriors and mental interiors we pass through within these compositions. Borowiec’s human subjects – captured in either intimate close-up or at something of a symbolic distance – appear to transcend time and place, although they are firmly rooted to both within her frame. (Unlike the rest of us: unstoppable, unframeable, worn down to shadows.) Here we find ourselves in the presence of presence itself: a young woman in the moments before a meal, embodying quietude, enveloped in grace, head tilted downward in prayerful repose. Attuned to the unheard, Borowiec records the eloquence of the unsaid in a simple room devoid of clutter and excess. A room in which there is little to begin with and still less that could possibly be discarded, for as in a still life painting’s overlapping of the noticed and the unnoticed, each present object attests to its own relevance and therefore essentiality. In Magdalena Borowiec’s photographic still-lives, rumpled secondhand blankets, mattresses, jackets, and prayer rugs attain a preciousness established not by the appraiser but through legitimate and repeated use; and each single crumb of bread upon a tablecloth, or puddle of grease slicked across the surface of a bowl of soup, is deemed worthy of the camera’s (literal) focus and the photographer’s curiosity. As we approach the end we sense a beginning. Clamour ceases and gives way to a supreme silence. Landscapes are pared down to the primeval and human interiors emptied of their material superfluity. A pure spareness is all that remains, elemental in its simplicity. We long for it like we long for wealth, but in so doing risk its eluding us, for it is only from the hands of poverty that it may be shared.”
The exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
“In the 1830s, a chimpanzee named Tommy and an orangutan named Jenny, quite unusual animals for the times, were brought into the London Zoo. It was in the Victorian era – the exposed to public view monkeys were dressed in children’s clothes and while eating they used plates and spoons. The visitors observed them with curiosity mingled with pronounced anxiety and Queen Victoria, after having visited the zoo in 1842, wrote in her diary: ‘Jenny seemed unpleasantly and unbearably human.’ Nothing has changed since that time. Thousands of visitors come to zoos every day. Observing the behaviour of monkeys, especially anthropoids, makes people smile, but sometimes causes anxiety. Both of the reactions appear when the monkey behave in a way typical of human. It is then when we realise we are animals as well – relatives of primates.”
Maciej Trojan, Ph.D.
Shortly after having become one of the 55 laureates of the second editions of DEBUTS, Paweł Bogumił joined the photographers represented by Leica Gallery Warsaw. Now it is the time for his first individual exhibition inHuman. The title itself is a play on words that perfectly captures the extreme emotions we experience while looking at the 40 black and white photographs of the monkeys the photographer took through the bars and windows in European zoos. Some of the photos arouse subconscious fear of these powerful beasts; others make us consider what the person in the picture is thinking about. Subconsciously we forget that we are looking at an animal. Bogumił’s portraits and his unusual models blur the boundaries between people and animals.
“What is the truth of Paweł Bogumił’s portraits? Humanity? Animality? Enslavement? Mutual fascination? Honesty? Cohabitation? The deepest understanding on the level of emotions? Disgust mixed up with curiosity? They are not only the questions we have to answer ourselves. Actually, we face such doubts every time when anyone’s portrait attracts our attention. In conjugation, activated mechanism of similarity and looking for something ‘that is like me’, activates the mechanism of mimesis, of imitation. As, who hasn’t smiled looking at a portrait of a smiling child?”
Paweł Bogumił (b. 1984) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | a graduate of the ZPAF Photo School | a laureate of DEBUTS (edition 2016) | his photographs have been published by LensCulture, Future Shot, Cles, Geo and Geo Saison, among others | a finalist of the Earth 15 competition organised by LensCulture and winner of the 2015 International Photography Awards | represented by Leica Gallery Warsaw.
The exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.