Robby Cyron’s Figura Animalis exhibition draws its roots from an ornamental chicken from Leon Tarasewicz’s bird’s collection. A well-known painter lent one of species for a photo session organised by a fashion magazine. However this tiny cock was just one of many elements of the set, it caught the photographer’s eye. At the moment when the light of studio lamps reached the bird’s plumage and its feathering had blazed of vivid, colourful brilliance, Robby Cyron realised that he had just found a new object of his photographic fascination.
The exhibition title Figura Animalis has an ambiguity hidden in the double meaning of a Latin word animalis that could be translated as a word “animal”, but above all it refers to the vitality and life. Moreover, the noun anima can also be associated with the vital soul. This ambiguity is also captured through Cyron’s perspective on birds and mammals. The artist seeks new canons of beauty in the animal world.
In his work Robby often studies various faces of nature, whether on the occasion of the B&W photographs of women like in the project entitled Bella or through the attempt to subjugate wildlife as in the case of Gallus and The Family projects. The Figura Animalis exhibition combines the last two series: ornamental chickens (Gallus) and Arabian horses – The Family.
The Family represents a poetic approach to animals that embody both, strong nature and grace. Horses seen by Robby Cyron are as monumental as a statue but their gaze often seems truly melancholic. Gallus means rooster, but its Latin name sounds more sophisticated, and so are the chickens as seen through Cyron’s lens. Birds covered with feathers in vivid colours are almost “posing” for photos. Are they still animals or tiny pieces of art?
Cyron’s animalistic models embody the whole scale of emotions: sadness, melancholy and even comic quality. Birds and horses “pose” without make-up and they are not dressed up, which gives Cyron (that also specialises in professional commercial photography, working with models, actors and celebrities for various magazines) a new space for artistic expression.
“In my creative work I always try to capture various sorts of beauty phenomenon,” – says the artist.
The Figura Animalis exhibition is also a field of research for a new aesthetics. This project would not be possible without the photographer’s skills. Thanks to precise light usage and professional studio work Cyron’s photographs look like Dutch paintings with a touch of a hyperrealism.
Robby Cyron (b. 1970) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | learnt to photograph in a classical advertising photography studio | photographer and curator | owner of the las studio and gwl gallery (both in Warsaw) | gives analogue atmosphere to his works, often made digitally | co-author of guide books IN (Warsaw: Agora, 2011) and author of the photobook Nath (Warsaw: RC, 2012) | his works have been published by such magazines like Maxim, Gala, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Playboy, Joy, Music Express, Glamour, Marie Claire, Twój Styl and doc! photo magazine (doc! #10 & #39), among others.
Robby Cyron – FIGURA ANIMALIS
@ Leica 6×7 Gallery Warsaw (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
Opening reception: February 9 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between February 10 and March 18, 2018
- artist’s tours: February 11 at 1.00 PM & March 17 at 5.00 PM
- artist’s talk: March 1 at 6.00 PM
The Robby Cyron exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (re)presents The Absence of Shame exhibition by American photographer Jock Sturges on its walls.
The project was first opened at the beginning of September 2016. It consists of photographs which depict naturist families from France, North California and Ireland, with whom Sturges had been communicating. The author photographed them during his long artistic career. Having started in the 1970s, he has now shot 3 generations of models. The images uncovered their beauty, so the girls posed to the photographer voluntarily and without embarrassment.
Last year the exhibition had to be closed within a fortnight from its opening, despite the objections from photography lovers who had not yet managed to get acquainted with the project. The reason for the closing was the appeal of Deputy Elena Mizulina, who saw signs of child pornography in the works and launched the mechanism of harassment. Mass support of Mizulina’s point of view, provided by politicians and public figures, and petitions to the procurator’s office and to the Investigation Committee led to attacks on the Lumière Brothers Photography Centre, threats directed against its employees and vandalism – all those matters forced the organisers to close the exhibition ahead of schedule. The investigation on the charges of the demonstration of child pornography lasted for almost a year, and has been completed very recently. Neither the 13 lawsuits filed by citizens, nor the viewpoints held by Mizulina and child ombudsman Anna Kuznetsova’s, both of whom have never even seen the photographs, could convince the investigating committee of the illegality of the exhibition. Expert witnesses recognised the complete absence of signs of any elements of crime and acknowledged the high artistic levels of the exhibited works.
In addition to the works of the talented and internationally recognised photographer Jock Sturges, it will now be possible to become acquainted with the history of the conflict through excerpts from newspapers, photo and video footage covering both opening and closing of the exhibition, and documents from the expert examination and investigation process.
Jock Sturges (b. 1947) | based in Seattle (WA, USA) | an American photographer known for his large-format portraits of nude adolescents | received a B.A. in Perceptual Psychology and Photography from Marlboro College in Vermont and an M.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute | worked with Richard Benson printing from the negatives of Paul Strand, Eugene Atget, Walker Evans and Gary Winogrand, among others | has published more than 10 monographs | his work has been included in many museum collections around the world (e.g. The Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the National Library in Paris and The Frankfurt Museum of Modern Art).
Jock Sturges – THE ABSENCE OF SHAME 2.0
@ The Lumière Brothers Centre for Photography (Bolotnaya emb. 3, b.1, Moscow, Russia)
Opening reception: December 7 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between December 8 and January 8, 2018
The Jock Sturges exhibition is for adult viewers only.
Travelling by Wojtek Wieteska is a story on two kinds of love: the photographer for photography and the photographer for a mysterious blonde – Agni. Their lasted for one year relationship was filled with photography, which resulted in a personal cycle of images, kept in the modern fair tale’s convention.
This is how Wojtek Wieteska describes Travelling in his recent essay A Photograph Is a Love Letter for doc! photo magazine:
“I had a beautiful and intriguing love affair between September 22, 2016 and September 4, 2017. (…) It was then when I created my most personal, intimate and luminous project Travelling. (…) I told about what and where had happened between both of us and how we both saw that. Together, as Agni was next to me, behind me or in front of the lens when I was photographing.”
The pictures from the Travelling series are filled with places, items and ephemeral situations in which this story took place. The colour images are diverse: from extreme close-ups, details to urban scenes and natural landscapes. In some cases Wieteska shows how he perceives feminine eroticism without nagging with nudity. What connects that spectrum of aesthetics is emotions, sensuality and reflexion on photography per se. The recurring theme is the links between this medium and our sensitivity. Are photographs able to give a condensed picture, essence of the events that have really happened? How to capture the truth about love in a photograph? What is the place of photography in our life, here and now?
These questions make Travelling a total work that can be contemplated as a set or as single frames. Each part of the project is rooted in the artist’s statement: “Photography is faster than words!”
“I took pictures of emotions and feelings that appeared and disappeared like sparks. I often didn’t have enough time to name them. Today, I can photograph all things around me; it is the question of carving the style and my individual alchemy. I worked on the selection of its ingredients for a long time. There is nothing accidental in Travelling, but none of the pictures was staged,” – says Wojtek Wieteska.
Travelling also tells us how to put some thousands of taken photos into your own fictional or documentary story. That is why the show has its formal structure and scenographic concept carefully planned by Wieteska. Travelling consists of three mutually complementary and equivalent parts: the exhibition, screenings of a silent film with live music and non-standard catalogue.
Wojtek Wieteska (b. 1964) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | photographer, filmmaker, writer, curator and teacher | one of the most recognisable Polish photographers of his own unique, conceptual approach to reality | has exhibited his photo projects in the most important Polish galleries and museums of contemporary art | author of photographic albums and books | his projects have been published in various magazines, including doc! photo magazine (doc! #17) | his photographs are held in collections in France, Germany, Japan, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and in the USA | works in commercial field and leads Masters Classes | graduated from the Łódź Film School’s Faculty of Photography (PhD in Visual Arts: Photography) | also studied History of Art at Paris Sorbonne IV (France) and University of Warsaw (Poland) | columnist of doc! photo magazine.
Wojtek Wieteska – TRAVELLING
@ Leica 6×7 Gallery Warsaw (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
Opening reception: December 7 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between December 8, 2017 and February 4, 2018
The exhibition also includes:
- film screenings:
- @ Atlantic Cinema (33 Chmielna St., Warsaw, Poland) on December 5 at 7.00 PM (enrollments @ http://bit.ly/2zjrfQv)
- @ Mysia 3 (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland) on December 8 at 6.30 PM, January 22 at 6:30 PM and special three-channel screening of films with travelling motive on January 28 at 12.00 PM up to 6.00 PM
- artist tour on December 9 at 4.00 PM
The Wojtek Wieteska exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
On November 17, Warsaw Photo Days festival organised by Warsaw division of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers ZPAF will open under the theme POST SOVIETICUS. Sixteen exhibitions presenting the works of forty two authors will be shown in Warsaw galleries.
The theme of this year’s edition of the festival has been formulated for the presented photographic projects to serve as an artistic reference to the history and modernity of the post-Soviet countries. The traces of the past in both the people and places turned out to be an interesting area for artistic expression, but also an opportunity to present important historical photographs depicting the shape of the past world.
The opening day will include a series of exhibitions in various locations in Warsaw, including:
- Country on the Rise. 1960-89 @ Stara ZPAF Gallery & Obok Gallery (8 Zamkowy Sq. Warsaw, Poland); opening at 6.00 PM
- Roadtrip @ Nowe Miejsce Gallery (51/2 Jerozolimskie Av., Warsaw, Poland), opening at 7.00 PM
- DEBUTS (edition 2017) @ Sinfonia Varsovia (272 Grochowska St., Warsaw, Poland); opening at 8.00 PM
The Open Programme exhibitions opening and announcement of the Grand Prix winner will take place @ Sinfonia Varsovia (272 Grochowska St., Warsaw, Poland) at 8.00 PM.
Open Programme exhibitions include:
- Alexander Anufriev (Russia) – New Moscow
- Andrei Liankevich (Belarus) – Goodbye, Motherland
- Andrei Nacu (Romania) – Encircled by the Motherland
- Doina – Domenica Cojocaru (Romania) – Remnants
- Irene Jonas (France) – The End of the Red Man
- Jovana Mladenovic (Serbia) – Monumental Fear
- Karol Pałka (Poland) – Building
- Kirk Ellingham (United Kingdom) – Georgian Stranger
- Lorraine Turci (France) – Pyramiden, Polar Epitaph of an Utopia
- Masha Svyatogor (Belarus) – Kurasoushchyna, My Love
- Tatyana Palyga (Russia) – Cherepovets
- Triin Kerge (Estonia) – Kodukoht (Place of Home)
- Urszula Janoszuk (Poland) – Vilnius Post Sovieticus: Autopresentation
- Valentyn Odnoviun (Lithuania) – Surveillance
Artist’s talks of photographers presented in pen Programme will take place on November 18 @ Stara Galeria ZPAF Gallery (8 Zamkowy Sq., Warsaw, Poland).
More details @ www.warsawphotodays.com
Warsaw Photo Days 2017
@ Warsaw (Poland)
November 17 – December 15, 2017
The 2017 Warsaw Photo Days festival is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
¥€$U$ is already the second presentation of Paweł Jaszczuk’s works in the Leica 6×7 Gallery. After the projects showing day and night life in Japan, ¥€$U$ is the first one created since the author’s return to Poland. The inspiration for this project was documentation of gadgets and toys connected with Christianity, especially with contemporary Catholic devotion. For some years the artist has been buying them on the Internet, using such sites like eBay, Etsy and even Polish Allegro. All of them have been staged in a ‘natural’ context and portrayed in according to their purpose.
One of Paweł Jaszczuk’s goals is to draw attention to the surrealism of the marriage of capitalism to the world of religion and devotion in the modern times. The pictures present the whole spectrum of objects: from simple ones like a towel with image of Madonna on or a small pendant-cross with with a pocket knife to more unusual: a bath duck with a head of Jesus or a bulb with a cross-shaped filament. The ¥€$U$ project evokes universal questions on connections between religion, emotions and subjects (in this case – Catholic ones). What is the role of the images of the saints and of God? What are the borders of devotion? Can devotion and holiness exclude each other?
Paweł Jaszczuk observes how symbols and signs, along with the mass production, change into ambiguous gadgets. While related to religion, relics are considered unusual and unique (framed in precious materials and their use is strictly limited to fixed ritual), photographed by Jaszczuk they become relics ‘topsy-turvy.’ Often trashy, designed for everyday use, duplicated in thousands of copies, easy to be replaced swith new ones if destroyed or run out. On the other hand, these everyday items are closer to man: the artist emphasises their materiality, belonging to the owner and frequently his intimate relationship with them. Removed from the sacred level (because of its massification and utility), the object starts to function at the level of every-day reality, which means – at the level of profane.
Paweł Jaszczuk (b. 1978) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | self-taught photographer | graduated from Graphic Design at the School of Visual Arts in Sydney (Australia, 2004) | for seven years lived and worked in Japan where photographed nightlife of Tokyo | his photographs have been presented by many magazines, including British Journal of Photography, GUP, PHOTO, Eyemazing, The New York Times Magazine and doc! photo magazine (doc! #29/30), among others | has been presented at individual and group exhibitions internationally | has published three photo books: Salaryman (Mörel Books, London, 2009), Kinky City (dienacht Publishing, Leipzig, 2015) and Everything You Do Is a Balloon (Lieutenant Willsdorff, Bordeaux, 2016).
Paweł Jaszczuk – ¥€$U$
@ Leica 6×7 Gallery Warsaw (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
Opening reception: October 27 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between October 28 and December 3, 2017
The Paweł Jaszczuk exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
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.