A Feast of Analogue Photography Fans in Bydgoszcz

Taken from the Brought to Light project © Masha Ivashintsova Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

Taken from the Brought to Light project
© Masha Ivashintsova
Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

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.”

Taken from the Villa Argentina project © Arunà Canevascini Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

Taken from the Villa Argentina project
© Arunà Canevascini
Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

Taken from the Village Queens project Eric Schuett Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

Taken from the Village Queens project
Eric Schuett
Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

Taken from the Childhood Revisited project © Shuwei Liu Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

Taken from the Childhood Revisited project
© Shuwei Liu
Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

Winner of the 2018 Vintage Grand Prix contest © Paulina Ząbek Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

Winner of the 2018 Vintage Grand Prix contest
© Paulina Ząbek
Courtesy of the Vintage Photo Festival, Bydgoszcz

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. 

Taken from the Nowhere project © Raj Lalwani Courtesy of the BLOW UP PRESS, Warsaw

Taken from the Nowhere project
© Raj Lalwani
Courtesy of the BLOW UP PRESS, Warsaw

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
Bydgoszcz (Poland)
October 12-27, 2018

The 2018 Vintage Photo Festival is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.

 

THE 4TH EDITION OF W RAMACH SOPOTU FESTIVAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Taken from the untitled Maciej Moskwa project. © Maciej Moskwa

Taken from the untitled Maciej Moskwa project.
© Maciej Moskwa

Traditionally in September, Sopot becomes the centre of Polish photography. The W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography is an opportunity to see premiere projects created during the festival artistic residences, as well as projects of leading Polish creators using photography.

This year’s festiwal will consist of exhibitions the essence of which is the subjectivism of the storytelling. One will be able to see typically documentary, photojournalistic works, as well as those containing elements of creation or assemblage. They are to show history, events, and accompanying them emotions in the best way. All elements of a photograph such as light, composition and aesthetics serve to evoke the character of the story, express its atmosphere, and to add an observer’s commentary. Artists intentionally use different techniques to give an impulse for considerations. Watching photographs stops us in the time to give a while for consideration, reaction, emotions, and absorbing elements of the complex situations. 

Taken from the 'Hare and Hounds' series. © Kacper Kowalski

Taken from the ‘Hare and Hounds’ series.
© Kacper Kowalski

Sopot | 2018 | Iron Man with balloons on the background of the left supporting wall of Spatif. © Konstancja Nowina-Konopka

Sopot | 2018 | Iron Man with balloons on the background of the left supporting wall of Spatif.
© Konstancja Nowina-Konopka

This year’s residents of the festival are respected for their work artists from Tricity – Maciej Moskwa (doc! #12 & #32) and Kacper Kowalski, as well as the rising star of Polish photography, the winner of the second edition of DEBUTS – Konstancja Nowina-Konopka. They all will present their projects taking place in Sopot, that tangibly contemporary but also mystical, emotional, and simply historic one. 

Besides the projects of the festival residents, there will be also an opportunity to see Krzysztof Miller’s exhibition Travel by Trans-Siberian Railway with never shown before pictures taken by him on that unusual trip in 1993. Grzegorz Wełnicki (doc! #27/28) will show the first part of his Eternal series dedicated to death, its presence and influence on human life. While Agata Grzybowska (doc! #42) will present her photographs from the 9 Gates of No Return series that she took when trekking in the Bieszczady Mountains where she was searching for the answer to the question what loneliness is. 

Taken from the 'Eternal'  series. © Grzegorz Wełnicki

Taken from the ‘Eternal’ series.
© Grzegorz Wełnicki

Taken from the '9 Gates of No Return' series. © Agata Grzybowska

Taken from the ‘9 Gates of No Return’ series.
© Agata Grzybowska

The festiwal will be also accompanied by the f/5.6 exhibition, a cross-sectional presentation of works by Bogdan Dziworski (doc! #41), classic of Polish post-war photography; Wojciech Grzędziński’s (doc! #11 & #40) very impressive and personal exhibition Flashbacks; the group exhibition of the winners of DEBUTS_2018 project – the international competition for emerging photographers.

Taken from the 'Flashbacks' series. © Wojciech Grzędziński

Taken from the ‘Flashbacks’ series.
© Wojciech Grzędziński

Taken from the 'Braids, Red Curtains and That Walk in the Park' series. © Anna Pfeiffer

Taken from the ‘Braids, Red Curtains and That Walk in the Park’ series.
© Anna Pfeiffer

The festival programme also includes: an exhibition of evoking sentiments pictures of Sopot by Zbigniew Kosycarz, an exhibition of original cameras made by Marek Mazur and pictures taken with them by Krzysztof Mystkowski, a concert of Sławek Jaskułke, during which a presentation of Kacper Kowalski’s works will take place, and the presentation of Rafał Wojczal’s project Musher with musical improvisation of the artist.

The opening of the festival will take place at National Art Gallery on September 7, 2018. The festival opening weekend will be filled with lectures and meetings with artists. All the exhibitions will be open to the public until September 19.

The festival exhibitions will be presented at the National Art Gallery, in specially arranged for the festival galleries on the first floor of the Centrum Sopot, and in urban space. 

More info @ wramachsopotu.pl (site in Polish language version only)

W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography
Sopot (Poland)
September 7-19, 2018

The 2018 W Ramach Sopotu Festival of Photography is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.

DEBUTS 2018: Jurors’ Picks

Taken from the Behind the Scenes series

Taken from the Behind the Scenes series

Sergey Melnitchenko (Ukraine), Jordan Gale (USA), Anna T. Pfeiffer, and Ewa Doroszenko (both from Poland) have been selected by the DEBUTS jurors as their personal picks from the group of 20 winners of this year’s edition of the project awarding the most talented emerging photographers in the world.

One of the novelties of this year’s edition of DEBUTS is a personal pick by each juror. The members of the jury were asked to chose one submission they considered the best. Sergey Melnichenko from Ukraine, whose application was indicated by two jurors: Elviera Velghe, director of the Museum of Photography in Antwerp (Belgium), and Peter Bauza, a photographer-documentalist from Germany, can be considered the greatest DEBUTS laureate. Here is what they wrote in their justifications:

“The submission by Sergey Melnichenko is my personal favourite because the quality of each photo project is very high. The three projects are three times different. But it proofs to me that the photographer may vary, but still keeps his skills on top. The projects overwhelmed me by their atmosphere that grabs me by the throat. Every project shows a high original potential with beautiful, rich photography. In ‘Behind the Scenes’ the photographer gets us an insight of an emotional aspect of burlesque theatre. It is very intimate; gorgeous photos with extremal colours and contrasts. Even though the theme of ‘Passengers’ is not complicated, the photos keep stuck in my memory. In the last project ‘Polaroids from China Part II Monochromes’ every photo is a piece of art. I love the way the photographer approaches a topic with an adjusted photographic style. Sergey has a sharp photographic eye, sensitive enough to get the composition right, the contrasts good and excellent narrative photos.” (Elviera Velghe)

Taken from the Polaroids from China: Part II - Monochromes series

Taken from the Polaroids from China: Part II – Monochromes series

“It was not easy to review, score, and then narrow down all the many brilliant entries, with a high standard. But among the many impressive submissions for the DEBUTS contest this year, the artist of ‘Behind the Scenes,’ ‘Passengers’ and ‘Polaroids’ was able to maintain a style, a story, and a narrative. Sergey Melnichenko has a bright and above-average language and is able to express his emotions and feelings.” (Peter Bauza)

Sarker Protick, photographer and World Press Photo winner from Bangladesh, has recognised submission by Anna Pfeiffer, a Polish citizen living in Italy, as his favourite one. He wrote about it:

“An approach of Anna Pfeiffer to photography is smart, intelligent and playful at the same time. I am impressed by the quality of her portfolio which consists of three different projects, all having an effort to reinvent from one another while still having a strong personal attachment to the subject matters. These body of works also has interesting possibilities to present in many different forms of book and exhibitions.”

Taken from the Braids, Red Curtains and That Walk in the Park series

Taken from the Braids, Red Curtains and That Walk in the Park series

The favourite of Isabella van Marle of the Unseen Amsterdam festival is another Pole – Ewa Doroszenko. In her justification one can read:

“I have chosen Ewa Doroszenko’s proposal as my favourite because it was the most outstanding and surprising one. I find it very clever how the photographer translates criticism on society in an artistic manner. The projects are reflecting on the meaning of images in the digital age. New technologies such as virtual reality and beauty apps are shifting our perception of what nature and beauty are. The proposal has a clear message and is creatively constructed. ‘The Promise of Sublime Words’ is my aesthetical favourite.”

Taken from The Promise of Sublime Words series

Taken from The Promise of Sublime Words series

The DEBUTS originator and editor-in-chief of doc! photo magazine quarterly, Grzegorz Kosmala, pointed to the application of Jordan Gale from the USA, about which he wrote:

“I am very impressed by the applications for this year’s edition of DEBUTS. Choosing the one was really difficult. My favourite is Jordan Gale, who although submitted only one project, delighted me with the sincerity of speech and the way of conducting his narrative. It takes a lot of courage to talk about yourself and your loved ones in this way, especially when their past is marked by dark episodes. The more I appreciate the fact that Jordan has allowed us into his world. His project is not only a story about the family, but also a picture of the contemporary American province.”

Taken from the It Is What It Is series

Taken from the It Is What It Is series

The laureates of the fifth edition of DEBUTS are: Kirsten Leah Bitzer (USA), Michele Crameri (Switzerland), Ilaria Di Biagio (Italy), Ewa Doroszenko (Poland), Jean-Félix Fayolle (France), Jordan Gale (USA), Ilias Georgiadis (Greece), Mirek Kaźmierczak (Poland), Paweł Łączny (Poland), Raj Lalwani (India), Camille Lévêque (France), Sergey Melnitchenko (Ukraine), Filippo M. Nicoletti (Italy), Valentyn Odnoviun (Lithuania), Anna T. Pfeiffer (Poland/Italy), Natalia Poniatowska (Poland/United Kingdom), Sergey Stroitelev (Russia), Gihan Tubbeh (Peru), Federico Vespignani (Italy), and Adam Wilkoszarski (Poland).

The first presentation of works of all DEBUTS winners and the premiere of the book will take place traditionally during the International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL in Łódź (Poland), which starts on June 21 and will last until July 1, 2018.