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Lianzhou Foto 2011 - Toward the Social Landscape

Lianzhou Foto 2011 - Toward the Social Landscape

Festival: 19 Nov – 8 Dec 2011

Lianzhou International Photo Festival


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Lianzhou Foto 2011 - Toward the Social Landscape
Doug Rickard
#34.546147, Helena-West Helena, AR. 2008. 2010. Pigmented inkjet print, 20 3/4 x 33 1/4" (52.7 x 84.5 cm). Courtesy the artist; Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco; and Yossi Milo Gallery, New York. © 2011 Doug Rickard

Lianzhou International Photo Festival 2011 Toward the Social Landscape By General Curator: Duan Yuting The Philosophical Disenfranchisement of Art was subversive and confrontational completely with the apotheosis of contemporary art; after modern art had been separated from aesthetic tastes, some creations by masters as like Duchamp brought landmark shift of contemporary art, and contemporary art melted into production system of commercial entertainment and poster; all these make us feel the weakness of contemporary art, also embrace an ideal of new media for photography which is independent relatively. The latest hardcover edition of On Photography published by Shanghai Translation Publishing House used a new cover by French photographer Andreas Feininger: the famous picture of a photographer, who covered by dark shadow, and raise up his camera, took aim on his prey. Deadpan in this picture was hidden by metal Leica camera, as like a robot taking a picture, full of violent metaphor; and the gesture holding camera silently and frostily seems revealed the critique functions of photography to modernism in the future. After the emergence of writing, existences of all things are end in the text of books; however, with the emergency of photography, all become the end in pictures. Besides the writing, photography has become another important language for record, explore, interpret human itself and the world, and yet there is no the third media can have the dominant power over human cognitive ability as like the both above. As an democratized machine and information carrier, the camera can make images of abstract cognitions originally existed in human thinking experiences, as like the true, the beautiful, the moving, the ugly, the strange, the tragic…so more and more people can not refuse to take pictures. In all experiences brought by modernism, the experience caused by photography to human is obvious, but at the same time, the picture is the most mysterious, and sealed up a period of time never return, while created a vivid image of relatively true world; photography also make people to capture subjects as many as possible, and visualization of human experiences of this world on so large scale is cannot be matched by painting. Photography makes the all experiences visualized, thus makes the experience further democratized; now there is no longer any place in this world has not been ransacked by photography, that is, there is rarely a thing which had not been concerned by photographers. Therefore, for photographers, what should be taken is more difficult than how to take. In fact, works included in the world’s major photography Festival and Biennial also clearly allow us to see such a dilemma. Photographers, as like Jeff Wall, Nan Goldin, Martin Parr, Andreas Gursky, Wolfgang Tillmans and others, have become a few masters led a new trend, and build new contemporary values of photography, because they established new structures and styles, so let us reexamine the ethics of viewing, allows us to see the criticism on the real world and cognition from new perspective, and put forward questions and challenges on the medium of photography itself… Photography is the product of modernism, but it also is the weapon of anti-modernism. In an era of digital photography, its power of post-media has shaped it a media of more critical. And in anywhere photography can reach, it can criticize anything, apart from the world and the society itself, even photography itself and art. However, in order to edge into the existing art, photography in reality is often more banal than value system created by art, and lost its independent criticism. So someone are disappointed on it, and proposed to reinvent the photography, rediscover the photographers. On the one hand, photography need to be removed the viewing approaching of painting, and to see from its own natural properties of a special medium; the purpose of shooting is not for a beautiful picture of artistic qualities, but critical viewing out of its own medium. The other hand, as an art with its own author, it can also exist in a materialized form; this form is already there, but need contents injected by the author. Today, we put forward Towards the Social Landscape as the curatorial theme which has its own origin in history. In 1966, George Eastman House organized an exhibition entitled Towards the Social Landscape. In 1967, John Szarkowski curated an exhibition in MoMA, included works from Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, and Diane Arbus. Both exhibitions marked the beginning of famous New Documentary Photography in modern history of photography. Affected by both of them, two important schools in history of photography, new terrain photography and new color photography, are still effecting the development of photography all over the world. Today, we hold again an exhibition with the same title in China because it has significance for Chinese photography at this stage. The exhibition will feature not only related works from contemporary Chinese photographers, but also introduce latest trends of contemporary photography in American the first time. In development of recent decade in China, a large number of works from Chinese photographers tends toward inner self and more personal expressions; the same time, many photographers focus on the dramatic changes of landscape in China, and unprecedented changes in contemporary Chinese society and process of modernization and social upheaval make photograph an important medium to spread and research of this reality. Therefore, we will focus on „towards the social landscape, intend not only to trace the important process in history of photography, but also study further latest development and issues of American and world photography under such influence, in order to explore the unexhausted energy of photography which still is a vibrant medium in process of understanding the world, under a situation which many mediums have been weak generally. Of course, during the study of this world, photography is not the only medium, and there is no just one direction we offered in photography. However, at least it provides for us a valid path, as John Szarkowski called, „understanding life. Curators Director: Duan Yuting General Exhibition Consultant: Li Xianting General Curators: Duan Yuting & Christopher Phillips Curators: François Cheval, Olga Sviblova, Jiang Rong, Zhang Xiang’ ou

Lianzhou Foto 2011 - Toward the Social Landscape
© Wang Bo , Heteroscapes
Lianzhou Foto 2011 - Toward the Social Landscape
© Liu Wu, Portraits Come From My Hometown
Lianzhou Foto 2011 - Toward the Social Landscape
© Richard Renaldi, Outdoor