Arts & Culture

Six Photographers to See at Copenhagen Photo Festival 2020 Online

Photo: ‘Fraternal socialist kiss between Lyudmila Brezhnev and Erica Honecker. 1979’ by Ana Amado

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Copenhagen Photo Festival has been canceled until 2021. In its place are two separate exhibitions and a body of work from seven selected solo artists, available to view online, on social media, and around Copenhagen. All of the artists selected this year have focused on themes that explore many of today’s international crises, whether it be the refugee crisis, climate change, or race and gender discriminations. Although the exhibition themes differ, at its core this online edition is about identity, often shaped by trauma.

The first exhibition, Reconstruction of Identity, is rooted in the Identity Dialogues Europe project which gave five artists a 2-year residency to create their exhibition material. The resulting exhibition is an attempt to think of photography as an instrument of knowledge, capable of giving shape to the dynamic and polysemic concept of the ‘European identity’. The exhibition will be available to view on Sønder Boulevard in Copenhagen till mid-July.

The second, The Censored Exhibition, consists of 13 artists. The exhibition is categorized in two ways, grouping works together that either creates a dialogue around nature and climate change, or explores gender, sexuality, and postcolonial identity. This deliberate curation aims to highlight the fact that the world is experiencing a crisis in several ways at once. The exhibition will exist online.

In addition to these exhibitions, seven solo artists have been selected to have their work displayed and shared online using #cpfcelebratingphotography. The move comes in response to the corona crisis, as a way to support artists and photographers worldwide by increasing exposure for an industry hit hard by social distancing measures.

Before we dive into some of the best emerging photographers on display at this online edition of the Copenhagen Photo Festival, it’s worth considering the possible difficulties of consuming artwork in this way. The digital, social, and open-air formats encourage audiences to challenge themselves, to give themselves the same time to contemplate the work as they would in a traditional exhibition space. The exhibitions ask us to reconsider how we consume art, while reminding us that it remains essential to do so.

These are the six photographers to see at Copenhagen Photo Festival:

Martin Thaulow

            “HOME IS WHERE MY HEART IS”

Danish photographer Thaulow describes his practice as a humble take and view on how he sees a part of the European identity moving in the 21st century. The photographs exhibited address the current cultural and political dialogue within EU concerning the refugee crisis. It questions our understanding and meaning of the term ‘home’ and draws attention to the situation in the distant corners of EU. It’s apparent that his motive is to spark empathy in these times of separation, mistrust, and societies closing around themselves.

 

 

– In the Reconstruction of Identity exhibition.

 

 

Mitchell Moreno

            “BODY COPY”

Non-binary artist Moreno offers audiences portraits of themself performing different forms of masculinity, inspired by titles of adverts found on gay and queer hookup sites. Body Copy deals with queer sexuality while proposing a contemplation about class and the realities of a certain social milieu. This series emerged partly as a way of addressing the crisis of being photographed and of seeing themselves.

 

 

Selected Solo Artist

 
 

Marine Gastineau

            “IDENTITY INBETWEEN”

The French documentary photographer Gastineau captures striking portraits of Senegalese diaspora in the Italian town of Savignano Sul Rubicone, Italy. Feelings of belonging and exclusion are articulated in these photographs through meticulous compositions of shadow and light where the subjects are to be found, emotionally torn between the past, the present, and lost futures. This chiaroscuro effect emotes without words the mixed feelings of the hardship of immigration, adaption to relocation, and the hope that still remains for a better life without exclusion.

 

 

– In the Reconstruction of Identity exhibition.

 

 

Ting Cheng

            “LITTLE ODD THINGS 拐瓜劣棗”

Ting Cheng offers an innovative approach in her series as she uses photography and sculpture to start a dynamic dialogue about art photography. The frames are playful and colorful assemblages that comment on the volume of waste produced by the food industry every day. The models are misshapen vegetables, rejected by supermarkets and therefore disposed of.

 

 

– In the The Censored Exhibition exhibition.

 
 

Filippo Venturi

            “Untold”

Filippo Venturi’s main photographic research has to do with the human condition. For his contribution to the exhibition, Venturi documented the lives of several families seeking asylum in Italy and awaiting the outcome of a lengthy process to get a residency permit. He puts an emphasis on capturing the experiences of women, as too often they’re unheard. The work sheds light on the two extremes of these women’s ordeals, one of a perilous voyage, the other a silent and immobilizing wait – which is arguably just as inhumane.

 

 

– In the Reconstruction of Identity exhibition.

 

 

Cecilia Sordi Campos

            “TEM BIGATO NESSA GOIABA”

Cecilia Sordi Campos’ series tells an intimate and personal story of redefinition and rediscovery, as she documents her migration from Brazil to Australia in parallel with her separation from her husband of 10 years. The result is a display of scattered identity after emotional turmoil, made possible by her sincere and unfiltered way of untangling and disclosing the layers of her hybrid identity through photography.

 
– In the The Censored Exhibition exhibition.

 
 

Honourable Mention

The audience voted for their favourite photo: ‘Fraternal socialist kiss between Lyudmila Brezhnev and Erica Honecker. 1979’ by Ana Amado. The jury pre-selected it among the finalists for its powerful recreation of a historical moment to point out the yet present imbalance between men and women when we speak of leadership positions. See the image in the header.

You can view even more of the exhibitions dotted around Copenhagen. Find your nearest impromptu gallery using their interactive map.