CDC WILL PRESENT AN EXHIBITION of work by the Melbourne artist Magdalena Bors in the longest-running public photo gallery in continental Europe. The gallery’s director first saw the artist’s images on the CDC website and took a proposal to show the work to her exhibitions board, who agreed. The exhibition opens at Galleri Image in Aarhus on 24 May and runs through to 30 June. This is the first time that work by an Australian artist has been exhibited in the gallery. More…
Introducing the Q&A Alternatives Season
IN THIS SERIES OF INTERVIEWS, Alasdair Foster talks with cultural practitioners who take an alternative approach to creativity – their own or that of others. These individuals hail from various cultures and continents; they have diverse aspirations and idiosyncratic means for achieving them. There is no consistency, no single path. Nor should there be.
Some look critically upon the world around them – be it the institutional world of art or the wider world of human affairs. Others seek to build connections where previously there was alienation; offering a means of expression to the marginalised and the dispossessed. And some simply try to feel their way to a sense of personal truth that can be communicated outwards in the centrifugal language of the eye. Each, in their different way, suggests how a questioning mind, human connection and creativity can work synergistically to achieve results significantly more valuable than those measured by the market or celebrity.
The phrase ‘ahead of his time’ can be a cliché, but applied to Ian Milliss it is a precisely accurate description. Spanning almost five decades, his practice engages directly with issues of social, cultural and personal sustainability: the fundamental issue of survival. So why, for so long, has he been ‘the invisible artist’? More…
“An artist is someone who creates adaptive cultural change”
Sohrab Hura lives in Delhi and makes photographs. But he does not want to think of himself as a photographer… or an artist. He fears that to do so would set him on an art-world career path that would make it harder to strive for honest imagery. He keeps himself broke for the same reason. More…
“I’d like my work … to be bigger than me”
Scott Redford has a fascination for pop culture and a love of his home town of Surfer’s Paradise on the southern Queensland Coast of Australia. Harnessing a diverse array of media his work turns its back on the cosy coteries of the art world to address the international from the vantage of the local. More…
“Art is something made in private and validated in public”
For the past 25 years Thierry Geoffroy has created a series of conceptual formulas to initiate events and temporary installations. These projects involve many participants – often several hundred – to address the social psychology of issues such as conflict, collaboration, hypocrisy and commercialisation. More…
“By making and consuming art, have we become better human beings?”
Congratulations! to Shan Turner-Carroll who has just won the $35,000AUD National Tertiary Student Art Prize presented last Friday (9 April) at the Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA). His work featured on the CDC website in Janaury (click here to view his portfolio)
The selection panel comprised Glen Barkley (curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney); Isobel Ching (an independent curator based in Singapore); Andrew Varano (an artist and curator of OK Gallery, Perth); Leigh Robb and Tim Carter (respectively curator and special projects curator at PICA).
Shan is an exceptional young artist with a distinctive vision that draws on his cultural heritage. That journey is now leading him to undertake creative research in Burma.
His work was previously recognised when he won the 2012 Jennie Thomas Travelling Art Scholarship.
CONNECTING WITH COLOMBIA
CDC will present the work of Melbourne artist Polixeni Papapetrou at a major South American festival this May. Fotográfica Bogotá is reputedly the continent’s largest photo biennale, reaching an audience of some 80,000 people.
While in Bogotá, Alasdair Foster will present a paper at the Encuentro Teórico, Latin America’s foremost photo-theory conference, which attracts some 1,200 delegates from the across the continent.
Elena Firsova reports on Russia’s PhotoVisa festival
The smaller and regional photo festivals around the world offer emerging and mid-career photographers an excellent platform for their work and a chance to build quality network connections. Friendly and less hierarchical than their metropolitan cousins, these festivals often have a strongly collegiate and egalitarian atmosphere that makes it well worth the journey.
One such festival is PhotoVisa, held annually in Krasnodar, close to the Black Sea coast of Russia. It is my great pleasure to introduce the dynamic Russian journalist Elena Firsova, a regular visitor to the festival, to report on the initiative and its 2012 edition. Her two-part article is particularly interesting because it sets the context of how such a festival came into existence and how it is sustained. While it is always interesting to learn of new work showing at a festival, her report provides a valuable insight into festival making that will, I believe, be of interest both to photographers considering participation and to those entrepreneurial spirits thinking about launching a festival in their own region. More…
Australian Photographers Showcased in China, 2013
Alasdair Foster has been commissioned to write 12 monthly features for the celebrated Chinese art-photo magazine PhotoWorld. Spanning some 12-16 pages, each article and portfolio will focus on the work of a contemporary Australian photomedia artist, with a special emphasis on the diversity of approach and visual language at play in our country.
CDC presented an exhibition of work by three of Mexico’s leading contemporary photo-artists at the 2012 edition of Pingyao International Photography Festival (PIP), China’s largest and longest-running photography event. Organised by Alasdair Foster, ‘Ouroboros’ explored the imagery of Pablo López Luz, Fernando Montiel Klint and Dulce Pinzón. More…
Once again PIP was a cultural event on a grand scale. It filled the ancient walled city with 332 exhibitions displayed in former factories, temples, historic buildings and civic gardens. In all 1,700 photographers hailing from 45 countries and regions presented over 13,000 images. Slide show and media coverage of CDC’s ‘Ouroboros’ exhibition here.
Pablo López Luz won a major award at the 2012 Pingyao International Photography Festival, China. This was the third time in as many years that an artist presented by Alasdair Foster at PIP has been selected for this prize. More…
‘Ouroboros’ the book
A beautiful 60-page book is available for purchase online. Published in full colour and with trilingual text (Chinese, English and Spanish) it is available in three formats: as a printed book in either hard-back or soft-cover options and as an eBook for iPad. More…
SELF-PUBLISHED BOOK WINS PRIZE
Congratulations! to Sam Harris whose book ‘Postcards from Home’ has won Australian Book of the Year and Book of the Year at the 36th Galley Club Awards. It was the first time that a digitally printed book has won this prestigious award.
Sam Harris’ photographs were featured on the CDC website back in July. You can see that portfolio here.
‘Postcards from Home’ was self-published by the artist, and printed and bound by Momento Pro. Reports indicate that this was the first time a self-published book had won the award. Enquire about purchase of this limited edition here.
Syria: a Culture of Peace in Time of War
Any artist, gallerist or festival director in the West who feels life is tough; spare a thought for Issa Touma, the founder and director of the Aleppo International Photography Festival (AIPF), Syria.
Plans for the 2012 festival were ambitious, with a new venue in a former power station and 48 local and international artists to present some 870 works. When they began work a year ago, no-one imagined that by September Syria would be in the grips of civil war and Aleppo at the heart of the conflict.
Who, facing such calamitous events, would not throw in the towel and abandon the festival? Not Issa Touma and his colleagues. More…
Update: A Message from Issa Touma
Kaunas Photo Festival is a small and friendly event in Lithuania’s historic second city. I had the honour of being invited by the festival’s dynamic director, Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, to take part in the 2012 edition. Below are my blog postings from the four-day trip.
Day 1: Blown Away with Eagerness
Day 2: Envisioning the Hidden
Day 3: The Sublime to the Belgian
Day 4: Dreams and Resurrection
Asia-Pacific PhotoForum Ambassador
Alasdair Foster has been elected the Asia-Pacific PhotoForum Ambassador, with a remit to help build new alliances between photographic festivals from across the Asia-Pacific region.
“Alasdair Foster’s extensive international experience provides a perfect fit as Ambassador for our blossoming APP network”, said Julia Durkin, Director of the Auckland Photography Festival. More…
In May 2012 CDC took at a look at the challenging issues of censorship. The season included two extended interviews and an article by Alasdair Foster, along with a Q&A of the views of 14 artists and commentators from Americas, Asia, Australia and Europe.
Bringing together all the links to the various articles and Q&A responses, the OMNIBUS page is a one-stop access point for the entire season.
Please join in by adding your comments at the foot of the page of any of the articles or Q&A rounds.
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Images (from the top)
PhotoVisa composite: (left) © Oleg Dou from his series ‘Tears’ 2008 (detail); (right) Andrey Chezhin [photo © Elena Firsova]
Pablo Lopez Luz and Alasdair Foster after the awards ceremony, PIP 2012 [photo courtesy Fernando Montiel Klint]
Angkor Photo Festival image © Samnang Khvay (detail)
Pacific Project image © Ben Bohane from ‘The Black Islands’ (detail)
Self-publishing winner image © Sam Harris from ‘Postcards from Home’ (detail)
Various images from Head On © each artist/photographer
© Tomasz Lazar from ‘Dreamline’ (winner of the 2012 Grand Prix, Fotofestiwal, Poland)
An exhibit from the SIPF Open Call Showcase
SarKiss Rshdouni with a rubbing made at Art Camping, Aleppo (image © SarKiss Rshdouni)
Baltic Blogging illustration © Tadao Cern