The communism era is marked by surprising amnesia. Even though we can still feel the breath of the days before the political transformation of the post-Soviet countries of the last 28 years, we are reluctant to admit this. Moreover, we consider this as some shameful family secret. But it is true that, as in the case of every era, post-communist modern times need a reference point in order to be defined.
In the post-Soviet part of Europe, the real socialism works as the above mentioned reference point. Its reality feels constantly present in political, sociological and philosophical discourse, but we rarely admit its presence in our daily life, despite the fact that it is noticeable everywhere. Its traces remain perceptible; tangible not only through the Palace of Culture and Science discreetly overshadowed by modern constructions in the very centre of Warsaw. It is worth looking for those traces everywhere as without them the image of our contemporary reality will remain incomplete and difficult to comprehend.
The Open Programme of the 2017 Warsaw Photo Days will attempt to take a closer look at the mentality and culture of the post-Soviet countries both in the past and the present. Although it has been years since Polish perception turned from east to west, one cannot deny that totalitarian communist system – in its material and spiritual entirety – has profoundly influenced modern generations. This is undoubtedly one of the sources of the hybridity of contemporary culture, torn between the past (Homo Sovieticus) and the present (Post Sovieticus) – built as contradiction of what is seemingly long past.
The traces of the past (to be found in people and places today) are an interesting field for authoring the subject, but also to remind the viewers of important historical photographs illustrating the shape of the past world.
They are also what should inspire younger generations – as an aspect often pushed into oblivion, yet one which contributes to modern consciousness, a specific synthesis of the memory of the past and the image of the present.
The 2017 Warsaw Photo Days Open Call for photographic and multimedia projects discussing the POST SOVIETICUS topic lasts until October 30, 2017 (11.59 PM CET).
More info @ www.warsawphotodays.com
Warsaw Photo Days
@ Warsaw (Poland)
November 17 – December 15, 2017
The 2017 Warsaw Photo Days is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
The fourth edition of Eastreet is not that different from the previous ones, especially in a sense that it’s unpredictable… After five years, all we can expect is to be surprised by the photos submitted to the open call. Although the form of Eastreet and its main themes remain unchanged, and some of the names reappear again, each iteration possesses its own character, rhythm, and a set of different focal points. Similarly, we are different as well – both the curators and the audiences – our view of each consecutive stage of the story has changed over time. We are more experienced, better equipped with earlier images and reflections that they have evoked since. The region is again broadly defined, without following any particular map or administrative division (there are too many of those). The organisers decided to include the Balkans, South-Eastern Europe and the EU Eastern Partnership countries. This broad definition creates a diverse and fluid region, where borders, constitutions, symbols, moods and governments are in a state of perpetual flux.
Eastreet is the sum of voices of the photographers observing Eastern Europe, but it’s primarily about the whole region in question, not about any particular nation states or individual authors. This is more a showcase of photographs than individual photographers. Eastreet encourages a wider look at human presence within the public spaces of Eastern Europe. It is an attempt to visually describe the region beyond stereotypes, borders and differences.
The response to the open call announced in June proved yet again amazing. Altogether, we have received almost 11 thousand photographs submitted by authors from every corner of the world – not just from people of Eastern European origin. Eventually, after a few weeks’ selection process, the curatorial team (Aleksander Bochenek, Joanna Kinowska, Tomasz Kulbowski and Grzegorz Ostręga) chose 100 photographs taken by authors from 20 countries. All the selected photos will be presented in the form of a gallery and outdoor exhibition, as well as a photo book. The premiere will take place on October 20, 2017 at the Centre for the Meeting of Cultures in Lublin (Poland). It will be accompanied by a workshop, portfolio review, slideshows and curators’ talk, happening over three days of the opening weekend.
Eastreet is an ongoing project dedicated to documentary photography of the broadly defined Eastern Europe. It is one of the largest initiatives of this kind – over to 30,000 photos were submitted to all four editions so far.
We present you a hand-picked selection of the 10 best photos included in the fourth edition of Eastreet.
Photographers included in Eastreet 4: Basia Abramowicz (DEBUTS 2016), Semyon Aleschenko, Ana Alexandrescu, Andre Alves, Penelope Ambert, Bianca Benisch, Oliwia Beszczyńska, Nik Brezginov, Tetyana Bunyak, Taras Bychko, Beatriz Calafell, Yulia Chervinska, Ewa Chodzicka, Magda Chodownik, Maciej Dakowicz (doc! #12), Nikolay Dutkin, Garry Efimov, Dmitry Ermakov, Baltazar Fajto (DEBUTS 2017), Andrey Gontarev, Anna B. Gregorczyk, Daniel Gnap, Wojciech Grzędziński (doc! #11 & #40), Clarisse Guichard, Dan Gutu, Diane Hion, Ihor Hora, Jamie Howard (doc! #16), Julie Hrudova, Alejandro Ilukewitsch, Dariusz Jasak, Pawel Jędrusik, Zisis Kardianos, Alexander Kazantsev, Ivan Kleymenov, Ania Kłosek (doc! #25), Nikos Konidaris, Łukasz Kotecki, Vaggelis Kousioras, Marcin Lewandowski, Andrew Loochnikov, Jacek Łagowski, Dariusz Madziński, Karol Malec, Tymon Markowski, Gregory Michenaud, Marcin Mirosławski, Dmitry Muzalev, Alex Naanou, Boris Nemeth, Konstancja Nowina Konopka (DEBUTS 2015), Paul Osipoff, Gabriela Popa, Maciej Rerek, Eleni Rimantonaki, Thomas Schell, Andrey Semenov, Anna Serkova, Leonid Shadevsky, Ilya Shtutsa, Vasilis Spagouros, Stavros Stamatiou, Ruth Stoltenberg, Elena Subach, Simona Supino, Adrian Svec, Jacek Szust, Karol Szymkowiak (doc! #26), Hajdu Tamas, Nikita Teryoshin, John Trifonopoulos, Darya Trofimova, Jakub Wysocki, Lukas Vasilikos, Roman Yarovitcyn, Eugene Yefremov, Jegor Zaika, Peter Zéglis and Artem Zhitenev.
More info @ www.eastreet.eu
The Eastreet 4 is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Polish Institute in Moscow and The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography present a multimedia “portrait” of the dynamic Katowice city that celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding last year.
Katowice is the capital of Silesia, industrial centre of Europe in the 19-20th centuries. Together with 13 neighbouring towns Katowice constitute the largest metropole in Poland and the unique agglomeration in Europe – Upper Silesian Industrial Region – which accounts for over 3 million people. Katowice is one of the brightest examples of a European city that underwent successful transformation from an industrial and mining province into a cultural, science and business centre. It is an actively developing city with one of the lowest unemployment rates in Poland. Katowice is the most multinational city in Poland boasting rich history and unique architecture.
Piotr Wójcik made 150 portraits/interviews of Katowice inhabitants. The exhibition also includes Tomasz Sinek’s 15 colour landscapes photographs and Monika Próba’s videos of the places chosen by the citizens. The contrast between the industrial past of Katowice and its present life shows through versatile stories told by the heroes. They appear surprising and their thoughts and ideas reveal new vision of the city and its inhabitants.
Portraits were taken in different parts of Katowice, each connected with the main characters of the projects and chosen by them. These photographs show people in urban and home environments. Portraits share common stylistic approach and differ in their content.
Piotr Wójcik (b. 1967) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | photographer and documentary filmmaker | lecturer at the Łódź Film School’s Photography and TV Production faculties | president of the Picture Doc Foundation | associated with Gazeta Wyborcza (since 1989) | former head of its photo editorial team (2001-2011) | author of documentary projects about the Romani in Europe and social problems of Poland | awarded with the Knight’s Cross of Polonia Restituta medal for his opposition activity for the period until 1989.
Piotr Wójcik – KATOWICE 150+1. WITNESS OF CHANGES
@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (3 Bolotnaya Emb., Building 1, Moscow, Russia)
Opening reception: October 12 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between October 13 and November 5, 2017
Focusing on a different theme and partner region for each edition, Fotodoks festival reflects and discusses contemporary documentary photography. This independent forum, which takes place in Munich (Germany) every second year since its establishing in 2008, is the largest festival for documentary photography in the German-speaking world.
With the topic ME:WE Fotodoks 2017 illuminates, in dialogue with the partner country – the USA, the relationship between the individual and the collective. The projects of the selected photographers tell of the search for security and love, describe exceptional situations, analyse political commitments and positions, observe boundaries and transgressions, and use the medium of photography as an escape ahead.
“For Fotodoks, the exchange between the photographers and the audience is very important and so we are thrilled that this year again a large number of the exhibiting photographers can be present at the festival in Munich,” – says Robert Pupeter, co-founder of Fotodoks. – “From the President of the photographer’s agency Magnum, Thomas Dworzak, to the versatile American photographer and author Tim Davis, to Sofia Valiente, winner of the World Press Photo award, many guests from the USA and German-speaking countries will be here to discuss and reflect with us.”
The ME:WE exhibition shows 17 photographic positions on the relationship between the individual and the collective. Within five days of the festival, photography will be reflected and discussed with photographers from the USA, Austria and Germany. The complete list of photographers and projects to be presented in Munich includes:
Endia Beal – CAN I TOUCH IT?
Almost every woman has toiled before the mirror, trying desperately to look “professional.” Endia Beal explored this frustration that occurs so often in the corporate sphere, this feeling of otherness that asks women, quite simply, to change. For minority women this change is often far more difficult, as the ideal corporate appearance remains, in most cases, the white male. In Can I Touch It? Beal approached white women in their forties and gave them a hairstyle typically seen on black women. After the makeover, the revamped women posed in corporate portraits. The most compelling aspect of the photos is not necessarily the physical discrepancy between a white woman and her black hair, but all of the complex histories and assumptions that make such a discrepancy so apparent to the viewer.
Michael Danner – MIGRATION AS AVANTGARDE
Losing the home, the intimacy of everyday life, the profession, the language and the naturalness of the reactions and gestures, also the casual expression of feeling. Experiences Hannah Arendt was writing about in her essay Wir Flüchtlinge/We Refugees in 1943 and Michael Danner enters into dialogue with his book project Migration as Avantgarde. He examines the new ways migrants are going in hope for a better life. Through the dedication of their own integrity and driven by the longing to give their lives a perspective, they bring new visions and ideas into our society. Arendt said that our identity changes so often that nobody can find out who we really are. In Migration as Avantgarde, Danner allows us to observe and to interpret what we see and he creates a space for dialogue, with the aim to stimulate a social debate that goes beyond the actual subject.
Tim Davis – MY LIVE IN POLITICS
Tim Davis began My Live in Politics in the post-9/11 tumult. Finding all sides in the suddenly politicised environment impossibly entrenched; he turned to his earliest social mentor, photographing his grandmother’s collection of activist buttons, which sits on a wall fresco painted by his grandfather. From there he pursued any leads that came naturally to him, attending meetings and rallies, and trying to be awake to the subtler ways political imagery leaks into our lives. He allowed himself to photograph only the subjects he could come upon with no special privilege, visiting government buildings and self-defined political institutions, and above all, driving through America in search of the signs and residue of political behaviour. Photographed with a large-format view camera on several trips crisscrossing the Untied States, My Life in Politics is an attempt to ask “What does my political life look like?” searching for pros and cons of visual meaning that are deeper than any party line.
Thomas Dworzak – POKÉMON GO
While returning to Paris in summer 2016, Thomas Dworzak (doc! #40) was intrigued by slow-moving crowds of people hunched into their smartphones, walking with a sense of purpose and then stopping suddenly on seemingly invisible marks. They had discovered the augmented reality video game sensation – Pokémon Go! In order to deepen his understanding, Dworzak downloaded the game himself and allowed it to be his guide. Taking both iPhone screen grabs and using the in-app camera, which is part of the game, Dworzak began to build up a study of the augmented reality game’s relationship with the physical world, and human beings’ changing relationship to their surroundings.
Annie Flanagan – WE GREW UP WITH GUM IN OUR HAIR
Annie Flanagan’s work focuses on the deep roots of gender-based violence in the American society as well as mental health and social problems that come along. She tends to begin projects that are informed by experiences she has, or those close to her have, and then she looks at how those experiences exist on a large level and in different situations. We Grew Up With Gum In Our Hair begans when her best friend, Hannah, left her abusive boyfriend. In this relationship Hannah experienced longterm exposure to emotional trauma, where she had little control and there was no hope of escape. The project that is part of the larger work group Deafening Sound and focuses on the correlation between domestic violence and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Gregory Halpern – ZZYXZ
The early settlers dubbed California “The Golden State” and “The Land of Milk and Honey.” Today, there are the obvious ironies – sprawl, spaghetti junctions and Skid Row – but the place is not so easily distilled or visualised, either as a clichéd paradise or as its demise. There’s a strange kind of harmony when it’s all seen together – the sublime, the psychedelic, the self-destructive. Like all places, it’s unpredictable and contradictory, but to greater extremes. Cultures and histories coexist, the beautiful sits next to the ugly, the redemptive next to the despairing, and all under a strange and singular light, as transcendent as it is harsh. The people, places, and animals of ZZYZX did exist before Halpern’s camera, but he has sewn these photographs into a work of fiction or fantasy – a structure, sequence and edit which, like Los Angeles itself, teeters on the brink of collapsing under the weight of its own strangely-shaped mass.
Paul Kranzler – SYNDICATE18
The essential basis of Syndicate18 is the re-examination and evaluation of the archive of Paul Kranzler. The title is derived from the name of the rapper ICE-T, and is also the average age of the persons portrayed and the period of the photographs. For the first time, he combines images he photographed from mid-1990s to 2013. In the early photographs, Kranzler himself still appears in the form of portraits, but also his friends, direct and unreflected in terms of fine art photography. This gives rise to the phenomenon of age equality between photographer and subject, that leaves us with the experience of great openness in the images. Later, he consciously worked on the continuation of the series on youth and youth culture, therefore he also traveled several times to the United States and remained connected with the people he photographed.
Kristin Loschert – MANN OHNE NAMEN
Loose stacking photographs of young men, loose encounters that led to it, yet the work Mann ohne Namen offers intensive encounters on different levels. Kristin Loschert has approached young men who were unknown to her on the street and met with them once or twice for a few hours to portray them. The layers of the pictures reflect the search for an inner, remembered image of a man. It is an interplay between her and her models, exposing on both sides, observation and projection, unspoken. At the same time, she also examines the possibilities of the portrait.
Mike Mandel & Chantal Zakari – LOCKDOWN ARCHIVE & SHELTER-IN-PLATES
In the early morning on April 19, 2013 Massachusetts Governor ordered residents of Watertown, home town of Mike Mandel and Chantal Zakari, to “shelter-in-place”, to stay inside their homes. Also surrounding cities and towns were called to do so because of initiating a manhunt for Boston Marathon bomber – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. A vast military style manhunt was soon underway: a twenty block area of Watertown was cordoned off by thousands of policemen, and numerous SWAT teams were ordered to search every home in this target area. For 18 hours residents stayed indoors, watching out from their windows as tanks and heavily armed soldiers went from door to door, searched yards, under porches and in some blocks inside homes, as well. The search failed and the “shelter-in-place” was lifted but Tsarnaev was found one and a half hour later by a resident hidden under the cover of his boat in the backyard. Lockdown Archive is a collection of images all found on the web and reorganised chronologically, by category and by location, in order to provide an encyclopaedic overview of the manhunt.
Harris Mizrahi – INSIDE OUT
He drove as far as he could from home before tiring, sometimes he stayed on the road for a couple of days, sometimes for a week. Other times he travelled hundred of miles only to return right back home the same day. For Harris Mizrahi, whose work concentrates on vulnerability and portraiture, working on Inside Out was an excuse to escape, battling a deep depression and his seductive mania of his bipolar disorder. Although the images may be created with honest intention, they are neither factual nor they are intended to be. They ride a line between fantasy and reality, never quite falling to either side of that line. The end result is a story of a place and people that do not truly exist outside of these photographs.
Stefanie Moshammer – VEGAS AND SHE
Las Vegas, set in the Mojave Desert, is a sort of brightly coloured parallel universe alongside the rest of America. Bereft of evolved urban culture or traditional legacy, it’s a settlement agglomeration doubling up as a gigantic amusement park. In this ambiguous world, Stefanie Moshammer spent a few months working on Vegas and She, a portrait of this art(ificial) city and its inhabitants. It depicts the glaringly garish night-shade world of adult entertainment, strippers, and the twilight zones that exist there. Her approach was to portray them in a metaphoric way, to represent the atmosphere and mood in that world they live in. For that, Stefanie is using the body and the surroundings to invite a narrative and to model a certain reality, showing how people, interior and landscape are blending together in a place like Las Vegas. The places she takes her camera to are shiny dreamworlds, they take us away from reality and adrift somewhere between illusion, desire and fantasy.
Andrea Ellen Reed – UNSIGHTED
The experimental short film Unsighted was created in 2015 in direct response to race riots in Baltimore (MD, USA) and Ferguson (MO, USA) – both the result of the deaths of unarmed Black men. Andrea Ellen Reed created a soundscape of edited audio clips of pundits, civil rights activists, educators and newscasters to comment on how Black people internalise White supremacist culture. Reed herself is a subject of the film and she confronts the viewer as she watches clips of riots on a computer screen. At first glance, this piece appears to be a self-portrait, but as the film goes on, she becomes a representative of the Black community – illustrating the slow, steady deterioration of a soul bludgeoned by circumstances.
Richard Renaldi – TOUCHING STRANGERS
Since 2007, Richard Renaldi has been working on a series of photographs that involve approaching and asking complete strangers to physically interact while posing together for a portrait. Working on the street, Renaldi encounters the subjects for his photographs in towns and cities all over the United States. He pairs them up and invites them to pose together, intimately, in the ways that people are usually taught to reserve for their close friends and loved ones. Renaldi creates spontaneous and fleeting relationships between strangers for the camera, often pushing his subjects beyond their comfort zones. These relationships may only last for the moment the shutter is released, but the resulting photographs are moving and provocative, and raise profound questions about the possibilities for positive human connection in a diverse society.
Ruddy Roye – WHEN LIVING IS A PROTEST
Sixty years ago, marching was considered an act of protest. Ruddy Roye is thankful he had been able to grow up on the backs of those who made strides and steps in the direction that enabled him to do something other than pick cotton and chop sugar cane. However, this life is not without its scars, memories and vestiges of the toll “the struggle” had on a race of people. In 2015, he walked around Brooklyn, Mississippi, Memphis, Manhattan, and Ferguson reading the tales of those living is a testimony to this ongoing struggle. The When Living Is a Protest series is his attempt to show a glimpse into what it means to live in “the struggle.”
When someone is incarcerated, female family members often pick up the pieces. But the financial and emotional strain of having loved ones behind bars can take a toll upon women on the outside. Also long distances make it hard for them to visit their loved ones, often it’s a more than three hours drive each way. One of those families is that of Kristal Bush (28). When she was 3 years old, her father went to prison. Her cousins, brothers, friends and lovers followed. Six years ago, Kristal founded Bridging the Gap, a van service that transports people from Philadelphia to distant prisons for visits. Lisa Riordan Seville, Zara Katz and supporting them photographer Zora J. Murff offer with their ongoing multimedia project Women on the Outside a glimpse into the lives of this group of women on the outside, trying to stay connected to loved ones behind bars.
Sofia Valiente – MIRACLE VILLAGE
In Southern Florida, on the southeast corner of Lake Okeechobee, lies a small community called Miracle Village – home to over 100 sex offenders. The community was founded by a Christian ministry that seeks to help individuals reintegrate into society. The residency restriction is the most difficult law to abide by for sex offenders since they must live a minimum of 2,500 feet from any bus stop, school or place where children congregate. Sofia Valiente lived among and photographed the residents of Miracle Village. The men are mixed in age and from various educational and ethnic backgrounds and are all coming to terms with the permanence of living with the label “sex offender.” There is also one woman. Her project addresses issues of trust, the reality of daily life of sex offenders, stigmatisation, misconceptions, family lost and family gained, and overall gratitude to have a place to call home.
Christina Werner – THE BOYS ARE BACK
Staging and repetition are essential elements in the Christina Werner’s work. Political propaganda reunions are now “events” with a theatrical character, so also stage elements such as heavy curtains are part of her work and the title The Boys Are Back sounds a bit musical-like. Through the act of repeating, which manifests itself not only in the collages, but also in the video loops, Werner composes for herself the thesis that history always repeats itself. In view of the growth of right-wing European networks and their pop-cultural media representation, Christina Werner creates an awareness of visual and staging strategies and is approaching the discourse on socio-political problems and questions in a very conceptual way, which also reflects an existing proximity-distance relationship with politics.
Fotodoks festival also includes workshops and lots of discussion panels.
More info @ www.fotodoks.de
Fotodoks – Festival for Contemporary Documentary Photography
@ Lothringer13 Halle (Lothringer Straße 13, Munich, Germany)
October 11-15, 2017
The Me:We exhibition will be open to the public until November 26, 2017
It is the seventh time Opole will have a pleasure to host leading Polish photographers, the participants of the Opole Photography Festival. The October event will take place under the Look motto, to which the invited exhibitions present different attitude.
„Our goal is to show a man in different cultural relations in the context of photographic document,” – says Sławoj Dubiel of the 2.8 Foundation, organising the festival. – “The document on which people were captured, their faces forming collective portraits, the record of the epoch. A look at people in various cultural contexts, their journeys through time, dialogue with these phenomena, how deep the roots of our civilisation are.”
The photographers invited to Opole use different techniques in their work, they have different approaches to the role and attitudes of the photographer and they are at different stages of their careers. That is why the programme of this year’s festival is going to be very interesting. Below we present the five most interesting, according to the doc! photo magazine editors, exhibitions of the 2017 Opole Festival of Photography.
Jacenty Dędek – ELSEWHERE
Cross-sectional picture of contemporary provincial Poland. It is a multifaceted story about people living there, their relations, life’s inconvenience, things that are hard to them. In spite of the fact that the project is focused on local societies, the photographs speak about universal issues that can affect any of us.
Dominika Gęsicka – THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE
“There is a place where no one is born and no one dies,” – it is how the description of Dominika Gęsicka’s project, that won this year’s Łódź FOTOFESTIWAL Grand Prix, begins. Her material from Spitsbergen is an amazing story about the people who try to find their place in the world far away from the world. You can find This Is Not a Real Life project and an extensive interview with Dominika Gęsicka @ doc! photo magazine vol. Q1 #36.
Krzysztof Gierałtowski – RING
Master of portrait photography in action. A lesson on the history of communist Poland. The exhibition presents pictures of artists, scientists, writers, activists, workers and socialist managers. You can find here portraits of the then oppositionists, Marxist experts and communist ideologues.
Tymon Markowski – FLOW
The Brda, a river connecting Bydgoszcz with Bydgoszcz that are 106 kilometres away from each other. Markowski’s project is a record of one year lasting trip along the Brda River. Simultaneously, it also shows the river’s neighbourhood with its astonishing and unusual situations.
Piotr Zbierski – PUSH THE SKY AWAY
Piotr Zbierski comes back to Opole with the exhibition accompanying a book with the same title. It is a multifaceted, visually unusual story about man in different cultural contexts. It is also a summary of Piotr Zbierski’s (doc! #8 and cd! #5) hitherto photographic work put in three projects – Dream of White Elephants, Love Has To Be Reinvented and Stones Were Lost from the Base.
The programme of the festival also includes three group exhibitions (by students of the Łódź Film School’s Photography Faculty and the University of Opole’s Faculty of Art as well as members of the Opole Photographic Society) and an exhibition of the winner of this year’s edition of the Show Yourself! competition – Good Life by Paweł Piotrowski (doc! #1).
“We wanted each presentation to be a closed whole and the festival to show the diversity of attitudes in relation to the main theme,” – added Dubiel.
Traditionally, apart from the exhibitions, the Opole Festival of Photography also includes numerous artist’s talks and workshops.
More info @ www.offoto.pl (website in Polish language version only)
Opole Festival of Photography
@ Opole (Poland)
October 6 – November 11, 2017
The 2017 Opole Festival of Photography is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
All pictures courtesy of the 2017 Opole Festival of Photography.
Inspired by the German–Polish Illustrated Dictionary published in East Germany in 1954, the A-Z project has been running for over ten years. Like any other dictionary of this kind, it constitutes an attempt to depict the world in its entirety. Some of the categories in it may appear astounding or completely outdated today; they seem absurd or amount to an intriguing illustration of a past epoch. Errors in translation and archaisms heighten the impression that the practical aspect and the sense of the original Illustrated Dictionary have been suspended.
Andrzej Tobis’ work follows a number of rules: photographs are taken exclusively in Poland, portrayed people or objects/events are never arranged, and the final result (unprocessed photograph) is accompanied by the original Polish and German entry with the caption from the original index.
So far, the artist has found representations for more than 700 entries (the dictionary contains between 10 and 20,000 definitions). The photographs form a peculiar ‘language,’ with every single piece as a single word/concept; as a result, this collection of ‘words’ opens up a possibility of creating visual/linguistic metaphors.
The A-Z project is a complex and personal picture of reality, a journey based on intuition and chance, when popular truths and standard meanings are bluffed by subjective, individual ‘reading’ of space. Entries from the original dictionary provide a vital impulse and a preliminary instrument for a reconnaissance of the terrain and intuitive creation. The project is focused on uncovering senses, hidden underneath the calcified system of enforced rhetoric.
In the process of linguistic classification every object or situation becomes a living organism, revealing the diversity of its content. We catalogue the world on the one hand and, on the other, we deform the images of time and place, imposing clichés of our own personality upon them: private memories or sentiments. Andrzej Tobis’ photographs are individual equivocal creatures, coming together to form never-ending semantic sequences. The work as a whole is a complex linguistic ‘body,’ with its content proliferating in relation to context, surroundings and place of exposition.
It is the language indeed that is the key to interpreting Andrzej Tobis’ A–Z series, a compulsive and endless story of the world and its many layers, objects and spaces which have not been fully clarified and remain ambiguous. The artist plays a game with the image, the symbol, the riddle, but his wit is always lined with sensitivity, insight, also sociological observations at times. In Tobis’ pictures we discover familiar shadows of the past era – some persist against common sense, others dissolve in the present day. On the other hand, this world looks like a staged, unreal scene of events, intentionally created of absurd combinations. Awareness of the fact that the artist does not interfere with the situations he comes across makes laughter and jest turn into bitter conclusions.
A-Z (Ten Years After the Premiere) is going to be a syncretic presentation of Andrzej Tobis’ cycle A-Z (Educational Cabinets), started in 2006; the exhibition unites all forms the project has assumed over the years: alphabetical (dictionary) order, a synthesis of the whole as a private view of the world, cabinets arranged according to subjective categories.
Andrzej Tobis (b. 1970) | based in Katowice (Poland) | painter, lecturer, photographer and graduate of the Katowice Academy of Fine Arts (1995) | has presented his works at solo and group exhibitions in Germany, Italy, Poland and Spain, among others.
Andrzej Tobis – A-Z (TEN YEARS AFTER THE PREMIERE)
@ FOTO-GEN Gallery (8 Bpa. Nankiera Square, Wrocław, Poland)
Opening reception: October 6 at 5.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public until November 3, 2017
The Andrzej Tobis exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Ever since photography began, it has served as a tool for spreading knowledge about the world. Before the arrival of transport and means of communication, it allowed people to see the most remote places on Earth. Surprising as it may seem, even today photographers often assume the role of visual pioneers, not only by discovering the world, but also by addressing topical issues. The upcoming exhibition at the Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography traces Sebastian Copeland’s journeys to both, the North and South Poles, focusing on the photographer’s most extensive Arctic series, to which he dedicated over 10 years of travelling.
Copeland’s grandiose icy “canvases,” distant and poetic, are an extraordinary example of polar photography.
“As with landscape photography, the Arctic’s visual payoff is commensurate with the time invested there,” – says Copeland, describing the particular conditions of shooting in the Arctic. – “For visitors like me seeking immersive experiences, the ice can be especially rewarding when everything lines up. The dominance of water, in either frozen or liquid form, and the sun’s low angle makes for a limited colour spectrum; while the stripped down landscape imposes focus. Visually, clouds and ice are kindred spirits: heavy skies and low contrast extract the best of the blues, and ice will acquire an iridescence that is unique to polar photography.”
Aside from exposing the austere and fragile beauty of the pristine nature of the Polar Regions, Sebastian Copeland’s photographs have also a pragmatic aim – to use the art of photography to raise awareness of climate change on the planet and to campaign for a sustainable future: “Helping people fall in love with their world is a catalyst to wanting to save it.”
The melting of glaciers and thinning of the ice sheet in the Arctic and the Antarctic is happening faster than anywhere else on the Earth, and this is a clear sign of the changing climate.
“What happens in the Arctic, doesn’t stay in the Arctic!”– Copeland points out.
Having been an environmental activist since 1999, he has spoken at the UN and at international conferences around the world; he is on the Board of Directors of Global Green (the US arm of NGO environmental organisation Green Cross International, founded by Mikhail Gorbachev). In the foreword to Copeland’s book on Antarctica, Mikhail Gorbachev writes:
“It is in this essence of hopefulness that ‘Antarctica: The Global Warning’ came to life. It depicts the ephemeral and austere beauty of Antarctica through stunning photographs of the largest remaining wilderness on Earth.”
Copeland has travelled a total of almost 8,000 kilometres on his journeys to the coldest regions of the world. He took part in several Arctic expeditions in 2005, 2008 and 2010 and led a team of nine young people to the northernmost Canadian Arctic as Young Ambassadors of the Arctic. In 2009, he repeated Robert Edwin Peary’s 700-kilometre-long journey (1909) on foot to the geographical North Pole, which is considered one of the most difficult routes in the world. In 2010, he spent 43 days crossing the Greenland ice sheet using skis and kites, travelling a distance of 2,300 kilometres. He spent the seasons of 2006 and 2007 aboard a scientific research icebreaker in the Antarctic Peninsula, and during the winter of 2011-2012 he led the East/West transcontinental crossing of Antarctica on skies and kites, setting three world records over 4,100 kilometres.
In addition to the photographs, unique video footage from the expeditions will also be shown at the exhibition, as well as Copeland’s feature-length documentaries: Into the Cold: The Journey of the Soul (2010), which was selected by the Tribeca Film Festival, winner of the Indie Spirit Film Festival and the Los Angeles Reel Film festival), and Across the Ice (2015), which was a finalist at many international festivals.
Sebastian Copeland will also give the artist’s talk at The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography and will present his two famous books: Arctic: The Vanishing North, Best Book at the Global Arctic Awards (2016), Tokyo International Photography Awards (2016), ITB Book Awards (2016) and Antarctica: The Global Warning, for which he was awarded the title of Best Professional Photographer of the Year at the International Photography Awards, IPA (2007).
Sebastian Copeland – PURE ARCTIC
@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (Bolotnaya emb. 3, b.1, Moscow, Russia)
Opening reception: September 22 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public until January 7, 2018
The 3rd edition of the International Photography Festival Białystok INTERPHOTO biennale starts at the beginning of September. This year’s event, titled The Limits of Tolerance, includes not only exhibitions, but also meetings, lectures, workshops, multimedia presentations, school competitions, activities combining photography with music or literature, and city games. This year, in addition to artists from different countries, the event will host reviewers, curators and critics responsible for similar events in other European cities that make up the international opinion of the environment. Thanks to them, the festival is enriched with INTERPHOTO Grand Prix and International Portfolio Review.
The festival is a place where Eastern European photography can meet with the Western one, where photographers – focused on important social identity and formal issues in the field of contemporary media as artistic expression – may exchange their experiences and start new joint projects.
Although the festival officially starts on September 14, a part of its extensive programme opens before that day. Within the framework of the festival there will be 34 individual and group exhibitions. There will be over 50 different accompanying activities, including workshops (eg rare European daguerreotype workshops run by Lithuanian artists), film screenings, meetings, lectures and other forms of talks about photography. More than 200 artists will come to Białystok to participate at exhibitions and in workshops, lectures and meetings. More than 30 organisations and institutions are involved into the festival, and the festival events will take place in more than 23 venues: from galleries, through universities and coffee houses to streets.
This year’s edition theme is Limits of Tolerance. It will be answered by such artists as Martin Kollar, István Halas, Andriy Boyarov, Arnis Balčus, Maria Kapajeva, Jan Pohribný, Alexander Vasukovich and Bogdan Konopka (cd! #3). The festival will also present numerous group exhibitions, including Zero-61” (curated by Lech Lechowicz), Central by East Central (curated by Adam Mazur) and post-competition presentation of the most talented emerging Polish photographers DEBUTS (edition 2017).
More info @ www.interphoto.pl
International Photography Festival Białystok INTERPHOTO 2017
@ Białystok (Poland)
September 14 – October 18, 2017
The 3rd edition of the International Photography Festival Białystok INTERPHOTO is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
All pictures courtesy of the International Photography Festival Białystok INTERPHOTO.
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.
Bogdan Dziworski’s photographs belong to the canon of Polish post-war photography. His black and white pictures present daily life of common people, just met on the street during long hours walks. Dziworski, outstanding filmmaker and master of street photography, by many considered Polish Cartier-Bresson, whose photos often resemble frames directly taken from films by leading directors of the so called Polish film school, like Andrzej Wajda, Janusz Morgenstern and Wojciech Jerzy Has, perfectly catches reality, thanks to which the situations shown in his pictures have specific aura. In effect, each picture is a short story in a form of poetic or funny anecdote
“My pictures from those years are never staged,” – says Dziworski. – “They are walked-out. Day by day, there were even eight hours of shooting. Zbigniew Rybczyński used to say: ‘Wherever I go, something interesting happens.’ It was like that with me. At the beginning – nothing. Some time later, if you are patient enough, you start your dancing with reality. It seems that everything is over, a normal man says ‘Goodbye,’ but it is just this moment to start shooting! And then that Bresson’s decisive moment appears. After long workouts it can be overtaken by fractions of a second. Photographing is waiting for this moment, when the reality will set itself. But you must be lucky. And I am. I watch two plans and put them together. Three plans would be incredible luck, that gets into your frame. A film director could stage it, I wait.”
Bogdan Dziworski’s work is something more than street photography and photo stories from the second part of the 20th century. There is also a consequently, for decades realised project with a huge emotional load. Dziworski’s photographs have significant historical and cognitive value.
Many frames from his photographic record, created a little as if by chance, have never been presented. His first album titled My View was published in 1981 in Vienna (Austria). Not sooner did the second one appear than in the 1990s. It was the time when his intimate exhibitions took place in Warsaw, Cracow, Wrocław and Częstochowa (all in Poland). The f/5.6 exhibition at the Leica 6×7 Gallery Warszawa will be the first comprehensive, cross-sectional retrospective, representing the whole of Bogdan Dziworski’s many years of photographic work. Many of the never published before works, carefully selected from the photographer’s large archive, will be presented during the exhibition.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an album of the same title, artist’s talks and screening of Bogdan Dziworski’s documentary films.
Bogdan Dziworski (b.1941) | based in Warsaw and Szczecin (Poland) | photographer, cameraman, film screenwriter and lecturer | graduate of the Łódź Film School’s Direction of Photography faculty (1965) | awarded with the Gloria Artis Gold Medal (2014) | has cooperated with Polish Film Chronicle, Educational Film Studio in Łódź and Film Production Company Zespoły Filmowe | author of numerous documentary films awarded at major festivals, including Fencer (1980) and Olympiad (1978) | founder and the longtime Dean of the Radio and Television Faculty of the University of Silesia in Katowice | has presented his photographs at individual exhibitions in Poland and in the USA | author of the books My View. Polish Impressions in Photography (Hannibal Verlag, Vienna, 1981) and 1/250 second (Wydawnictwa Artystyczne i Filmowe, Warsaw, 2000) | the first part of the Polish Photography cycle was devoted to his work (TERRA NOVA Krzysztof Heike, Warsaw, 1999).
Bogdan Dziworski – f/5.6
@ Leica 6×7 Gallery Warsaw (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
Opening reception: September 7 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between September 8 and October 22, 2017
- artist’s talks: September 25 and October 9 @ Leica 6×7 Gallery Warsaw at 6.00 PM
- film screenings and talks: September 30 @ Leica 6×7 Gallery Warsaw at 4.40 PM and October 15 @ Elektronik Cinema (7 Gen. Zajączka St., Warsaw, Poland) at 6.00 PM
The Bogdan Dziworski exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.