All posts filed under: Festivals

Strangers in the light, 2009 © Catherine Balet

Noorderlicht Photofestival grapples with information overload

Founded in 1991, Noorderlicht is one of the more experienced heads of the European photography scene. The Dutch festival has a decidedly ‘current’ scope, aiming to address social discussions and processes as they play out. Growing out of the Noorderlicht Photogallery in Groningen, for the festival, “photography is a socially inspired medium” and this year’s main theme is as rich as it is relevant: ‘Data Rush.’ WikiLeaks, the NSA, Sony vs. North Korea — information is being siphoned off and redistributed on a staggering scale, and inspired by the inundating stream of words, images, videos and combinations therein, this year Noorderlicht is tackling the digital age. This year, half of the planet’s population will have access to the internet, and ‘the next billion’ are beginning to grapple with the repercussions of constant connectivity. While contemporary artists have explored ideas surrounding technology thoroughly in recent years, Noorderlicht is focusing on the sheer scale of information overload, and through the images, asks what effect it may have on us. “‘Online’ is such a drastic concern”, says Wim Melis, curator …

2015-08-27T16:53:50+00:00

Unseen © Rien de Jager

Amsterdam’s Unseen Photo Fair returns with new photography festival

Unseen burst onto the international photography scene in 2012, pitching itself as “a photography fair with a festival flair”. Organised by Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, along with arts organisation Platform A and Vandejong Creative Agency, the fair is back for a fourth year, and this time it includes a festival called Unseen, with exhibitions and events, such as Magnum Contact Sheets, held in various locations across the city. Unseen Photo Fair champions emerging photographers alongside more established names, and newly commissioned work is a key component of the 2015 edition. Luke Norman and Nik Adam from Wandering Bears Collective have been commissioned to create a collaborative project with Charlie Engman, for example; each artist will make five images that will be reworked collaboratively and then put on show, to be presented in the Unseen Niches. Norman and Adam often rephotograph works by adding paint or other marks, and Engman often uses digital post-production and collage in his work. Another highlight is a new project by Peter Puklus, who was commissioned by Unseen to produce the official artwork for the …

2015-08-12T12:38:58+00:00

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Les Rencontres d’Arles 2015: Review

Markus Brunetti’s monumental series, Facades, is the closest thing you’ll get to a modern-day Grand Tour, capturing European cathedrals and churches in the kind of extraordinary detail that eludes even first-hand experience. Alex Majoli and Paolo Pellegrin take their work to another level with Congo, and the exhibition is the best of Les Ateliers – every much as layered and ambitious as the book. Cosmos-Arles Books was a welcome addition to the festival proper, but it was disappointing that this year’s book awards featured the short list only. Markus Brunetti’s Facades In town, Another Language, featuring largely previously unseen (in the flesh – often literally) work by eight Japanese photographers, from Eiko Hosoe to one of the country’s newest stars, Daisuke Yokota, was the biggest hit of the festival. Though Masahisa Fukase’s obsessively captured pictures of his wife are slight compared to his best known work, The Ravens, made after their split – evidence that the darker the mood, the better it feeds the creative soul. Mathieu Chedid’s musical accompaniment brings out another side to …

2015-07-20T14:56:33+00:00

What to see at Belfast Photo Festival

It sounds downright bonkers, but somehow it works. This year, Belfast Photo Festival director Michael Weir oversaw the creation of a to-scale replica of the famous DeLorean car from Back to the Future, crafted from wood and covered with A5 photographs printed onto brushed sheet metal panels. The sculpture, which was inspired by the work of Cyril Hatt but made by carpenter Jonathan Hickey and Robert Anderson, with photographs by Fergus Jordan, forms the centrepiece of the festival, and is on display outside Belfast City Hall. The reason for its creation is to mark the 35th anniversary of the DeLorean motor car, which was manufactured in Belfast, and because 2015 is the year the characters visited in Back to the Future Part II. It is also a fitting way to celebrate this year’s festival theme – photography and convergence – in this case showing how photography can produce interesting results when coupled with sculpture. Three editions in, Belfast Photo is starting to gather momentum. With guests this year including photographers Lorenzo Vitturi and Alec Soth, …

2015-06-09T10:50:57+00:00

Change of course © Prasiit Sthapit

The only documentary photography festival in the Balkans launches Kickstsarter campaign

In only its seventh year, Organ Vida has become one of the most intriguing contemporary photography festivals in Europe. Founded as an non-profit NGO in 2009, it is the only documentary photography festival in the Balkans, taking place annually in Zagreb, Croatia, this September. While it has grown in stature—Roger Ballen, Rob Hornstra and Hannah Starkey are among the jury members this year—the team hasn’t forgotten its lo-fi roots. “In Croatia, photography wasn’t recognised as art,” says Marina Paulenka, co-founder and director of the festival. We weren’t part of an international community, we didn’t have many exhibitions, we didn’t have the platforms; we just want to make something here.” The team is frighteningly young—the oldest member hasn’t even turned 30—and draws from a pool of Croatian photographers, graphic designers and artists. The central focus of the program is the exhibition of the main finalists, but also includes lectures, round-table discussions, artist talks, creative workshops, portfolio reviews, film screenings, music and theatre performances. The Klovićevi Dvori Gallery, one of Zagreb’s largest galleries, will be the focus of …

2015-07-23T12:59:58+00:00

Augustin Rebetez: Method man

“What is a photographer today?” asks Stefano Stoll, director of the biennial Images: Festival des Arts Visuels de Vevey. “There are plenty of shows and museums that ask this question. Now everybody has a smartphone and is a photographer – compare that to the 1960s when only a few people had a camera and there was no digital. It’s a very different world.” His festival tests the boundaries of this world by showing artists who push photography into fantasy and fiction; one of the best examples this year is Augustin Rebetez, who beat off 800 competitors in 2013 to win the prestigious Vevey International Prize. Awarded 40,000 Swiss Francs and a brief to create new work for the festival, he’s come up with a wild installation that combines illustration, performance, music and painting. “Augustin is not the answer, but he is part of the question,” says Stoll. “He’s looking for other ways of self-expression using photography, mixing it with drawing, installation and performance. What’s interesting for us is we’re showing an artist who is asking …

2015-05-20T12:42:31+00:00

James Nachtwey – The Improviser

James Nachtwey stretches his arms across the sofa and pauses to think. He’s just declined to answer whether he ever has nightmares, and now he’s fielding a question that every war reporter has faced; has he ever truly feared for his life? He recalls covering the civil war in Sri Lanka. He was embedded with one of five rebel groups, but the Tamil Tigers, the main insurgent group, were taking out their opposition one by one. He was on an island off the Jaffna peninsula, hiding out. The position was being over-run, and the native New Yorker was completely isolated, unable to get out. He found a Catholic monastery, and hid. In a church in outer Sri Lanka, he found a copy of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and he read it. He stayed there for three weeks, trying to focus on Shakespeare, until he found the chance to escape back to the mainland and to safety. “That was the first time I really thought I wasn’t going to make it,” Nachtwey says, his voice even. “Parts of my life I’d thought I’d …

2015-08-21T13:25:48+00:00

What to see at Format, Britain’s biggest photography festival

Format Festival, the Derby-based photography festival, returns this week with a special theme of ‘Evidence’, taking its cue from the legendary series of the same name by Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel. The main exhibition, which takes place at Derby’s Quad arts centre and is co-curated by Format Festival’s artistic director Louise Clements and independent curator and photo editor Lars Willumeit, is a contemporary take on the series and its associated book, Beyond Evidence – An Incomplete Narrative of Photographic Truths. Sultan and Mandel began the projects as young men fresh out of graduate school; gaining access to the picture archives at a California NASA office, they selected and recontextualised archive images from public and private American institutions, agencies and companies, creating a work that seemed to express American frontier mentality in the space race era. Format’s exhibition includes work from the 1977 project and adds images by Natasha Caruana, Edmund Clark and Cristina de Middel, to “explore the relationship between image and knowledge, reminding us that not only does the camera test our ability to trust but also provokes us to ask how …

2015-04-28T09:34:49+00:00

"Sans titre", Cover, 2015. Image © Jeannie Abert, France.

Hyeres looking at you

The shortlist is out for this year’s International Festival of Fashion & Photography in Hyeres, including ten photographers drawn from across Europe and beyond. This year is the 30th time the festival has taken place, and publisher Gerhard Steidl took part in a high-profile photography jury that also included: Anne Cartier-Bresson, director of the Atelier de Restauration et de Conservation des Photographies de la Ville de Paris (ARCP); Jean-Luc Monterosso, founder and director of the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris; and the photographer Sølve Sundsbø. The shortlisted photographers, who were drawn from more than 700 entries, are: Jeannie Abert, France; Sushant Chabria, India; Wawrzyniec Kolbusz, Poland; Evangelia Kranioti, Greece; Sjoerd Knibbeler, Netherlands; David Magnusson, Sweden; Filippo Patrese, Italy; Thomas Rousset, France; Polly Tootal, United Kingdom; and Oezden Yorulmaz, Germany. The shortlisted photographers’ work will go on show at the Villa Noailles in Hyeres from 23 April – 24 May, and will be invited to present their work to the jury in person at portfolio reviews during the festival weekend, 23-27 April. The festival …

2015-04-28T10:07:16+00:00

BJP Staff