AuthorsTheme and curator
By Christian Caujolle
The first photographers were travellers. From the latter part of the 19th century –firstly in their countries of origin, then visiting Italy following the footsteps of painters, and later in more remote places, such as the archaeological sites of Egypt and the Middle East–, they would take inventory, using their new instrument, of the particular history of art and of architecture that they were discovering in the act of immortalizing it. In that period it was unusual to see travellers. A century and a half later, when the status and uses of photography have radically changed, travel has transformed into a mass phenomenon that has spread across the whole world and become synonymous with tourism. Travel and image are closer than ever before, constituting the centre of significant commotions and the global evolution of society.
To gain a better grasp of the accompanying challenges and transformations, it is not out of place to point out that, in the field of travel photography, tourist operators have so modified the panorama that they have enabled everyone’s conversion into image producers, through the use of smartphones. After the first explorers, it was anthropologists and ethnologists who used the silver image to accompany their investigations and produce a typology of humanity. They practiced photography with scientific pretensions that the first travellers never knew, as wealthy wayfarers who recorded the souvenirs of their trips round the world –often with family or friends- for conservation in albums, seeking out exceptional landscapes, artworks or remarkable monuments. When these amateurs grew greatly in number, the development of the illustrated press and its transformation into specialized formats gave rise to the professional genre of travel photography. Combining the desire to discover a dream and the seduction and enticements of exploration, this photography scarcely resisted the wiles of exoticism and laid the foundations for a world view that in turn acted as a spur to the postcard industry, to printed monthlies on shiny paper, and to a simplistic stereotyped outlook. In place of the physical experience of other places, we had, and still have, access to the world through a codified illusion that progressively replaces such activity. Not much more remains other than those enamoured of Nicolas Bouvier, and some adventurers with no regard for the norms who steer clear of standardized trips.
Everyone today –during a journey, or at least while travelling– can produce images, transmit them straightaway and share them with their acquaintances. And, fortunately, this is a good thing. But what’s at stake here is no longer a matter of photographic topics but rather of social issues. The digital image forms part of the journey, plus the obligation to turn up at the airport two hours before the flight. It is a regular and intrinsic practice that converses with past practices and with the desire to collect a souvenir. Then again, we don’t know how long or indeed how the souvenir will be stored. In the social networks and messages we receive, which stand as proof that some people we know have made a trip, it is easy to observe just how deeply stereotypes have set in. One often gets the impression that the journey, if it can still be called that, consists of going to check that the cliché we store in our heads really exists. And reiterate it.
This massive usage of image requires, and so much the better, that photographers –those who have chosen to define themselves as such, and we indeed highlight this circumstance in the programming–determine why and how they want to employ their tools once they put familiar terrain behind them. Naturally there is a multiplicity of proposals: from an assertion of the pleasure of astonishing sensations through discovery of the new, to the analysis of certain situations that the traveller strives to comprehend. Whether documentary or poetic, analytic, descriptive or conceptual, photography produced on a trip around a journey that is often a choice of a way of life soon becomes a way of analysing photography in its very nature, its contemporary themes, its possibilities today; in its ability or inability to endow meaning. This is valid for all present practices using still images, but becomes nuanced in the area we are examining because the world has changed since the first operators stood in awe as they installed their tripods before the pyramids, and because travel no longer means the same thing.
Although mass tourism has set hordes of people in motion in search of sun, beaches of fine sand, palm trees, corals, lakes and emerald waters, new kinds of travellers have appeared on the scene and they make up a significant and growing proportion of these millions in movement. They have not chosen to be displaced. They’ve been forced to do so. Immigrants from the interior who, for economic reasons, leave the countryside to congregate in ever-expanding cities; refugees fleeing from dictatorial regimes, from the horrors of conflicts, of ecological and economic catastrophes. These countless displaced persons are a matter of concern to photographers at a time when the modalities of documentary language –now that the press has renounced its essential informational function– are being redefined in their ways and forms.
This situation of the new travellers takes up significant space in our programming because it has become an important part of reality in our world, with profound modifications in North-South relations and a shift in the balance towards the East. Because it also enables us to perceive and list, though not in an exhaustive way, the questions that today’s photographers ask themselves about their mode of expression. At a time when millions of individuals are trying to clandestinely cross frontiers in atrocious conditions, when displacements of population are more considerable than ever, and travel involves a consumerist component where proposals to visit the locations of tragedies both old and new are accepted without hesitation, the responsibility of photographers becomes paramount.
The pleasure of journeying still seems possible. It even stands –unquestionably– as an openness toward the world that we cannot do without. From here on in, where authors are concerned, photography surely faces a challenge on the ground: to experience the real journey and make it accessible to the greatest possible number of people is, naturally, more satisfactory than the images that can be obtained from that destination and whose limits we know. The appearance of other travellers, the reproduction of obligatory circuits and the massification of trips are arenas within which photography finds a space to redefine its meaning. That is what leads us to believe that it has a function today. And, moreover, that it can continue to play an aesthetic, political and ethical role.
About Christian Caujolle
GETXOPHOTO is a thematic festival that sees a change of curator at the end of each three year period. For the first three editions, the independent Madrid-based curator Alejandro Castellote was in charge of the programme. He was followed by the young boundary-breaking Catalan Frank Kalero, and the torch was taken up in this seventh edition by the world-acclaimed French curator Christian Caujolle. A recognised critic and eminent curator, Caujolle has made an enormous contribution to the world of photography. He collaborated with and was a pupil of Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu and Roland Barthes. He was the graphics editor of Libération, founder of the Agence VU´, artistic director of Les Rencontres d´Arles and curated international festivals such as the Foto Biennale in Rotterdam and PhotoEspaña.
Since 1983 he has organised several exhibitions and edited monographs on artists including Jacques Henri Lartigue, William Klein, Anders Petersen, Raymond Depardon, Michael Ackerman and Cristina García Rodero. Caujolle has participated in workshops and conferences in many countries in Europe and Asia and served as a jury member for World Press Photo and other prestigious international competitions. Currently he is the director of PhotoPhnomPenh in Cambodia and in 2013 he took over as curator of GETXOPHOTO Photography Festival.AuthorsWorkshop
Representing the world without leaving home
Since the beginning of the 21st century we have been witness to a scenario in photography in which the new technologies have irreversibly changed the way we think about, produce and relate to images. The myths of the intrepid war reporter or the photographer explorer in far-off lands are becoming obsolete and are being replaced by new emerging figures: from the hacker with access to security cameras to the hosts of ubiquitous tourists with their cutting edge mobile phones.
This workshop will give a detailed picture of the current situation for the photographer, the journalist or the amateur. We will run briefly through the fundamental issues of travel reporting and then take the full plunge into the new techniques of representation that lie within the reach of photographers, including the way that Instagram or Facebook have transformed the photographic panorama, and how we can use them to our benefit. The first step will be an introduction to what is known as “post-photography”. We will also talk of different amateur strategies and the repercussions they have in the professional field, and look at various theoretical implications that emerge from studying the consequences of this change from an “I was there” paradigm to an “I am here” focus: immediacy, fake practices, the new uses of photograph sharing, and so forth.
The workshop will also reserve a space for talking about and examining some tools that can be useful for photographers when tackling these new forms of representation. We will speak about apps, software and websites that are at our service and study the possibilities of new photographic devices, ranging from mobiles, webcams and security cameras to Google and videogames.
Daniel Mayrit was born in Madrid (Spain) in 1985. He graduated in Media Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid. Then spent a couple of years in Copenhagen (Denmark) studying at the Copenhagen University prior to his moving to London (UK) where he graduated in Photographic Arts by the University of Westminster.Lock-in vol.3
Tell it through others
Lock-in is a format that reviews and challenges the conventional uses and consumption of photography. It lasts one day, packed with informal talks and dialogues, including lunch. Friendly atmosphere. At a remote place, so there is no easy escape for speakers or for attendees!
Lock-in Vol.3 will focus on the creative process, specially on the idea that it is inconceivable without the contributions of the other. Art curators, photographers and graphic editors will share their experiences, the motivations of their jobs and the beginnings and evolution of the fields they come from. Moreover, the will speak about the obstacles that might come up during the development of a project. Finally, they will reflect on new approaches as much personal as professional.
9:30 – 10:00
10:00 – 10:20
10:30 – 12:00
THE ROLE OF PRINTED VERSION / MAGAZINES
Reflections of two graphic editors
Mauro Bedoni (photo editor of COLORS Magazine)
Arianna Rinaldo (director de OjodePez)
12:00 – 13:30
HOW TO RUN A MUSEUM AND NOT DIE TRYING
María Ptqk interviews Vicente Todolí
Vicente Todolí (curator)
María Ptqk (cultural researcher)
13:30 – 15:00
15:15 – 16:30
WHEN EXHIBITIONS BECOME FUNNY*
The succesful case of visual arts festival Images in Vevey (Switzerland)
Raphaël Biollay (producer and images programmer)
Moderator: Alejandro Castellote (curator)
* English talk
16:30 – 18:00
Appropriationism as a starting point. Two cases
Daniel Mayrit (photographer)
Reinaldo Loureiro (photographer)
Moderator: Jon Uriarte (photographer)
18:00 – 18:15
The big ideas of the day captured on images, by Pernan Goñi.
18:15 – 19:30
Beers, snacks, group photo…
Born in Italy in 1979 and graduated from the University of Padua with a degree thesis on Photojournalism. After working as a freelance photographer for some Italian news photo agencies, in 2007 he started working as the photo editor of COLORS, the magazine published by Fabrica. He’s been nominated for picture editor of the year at the Lucie Awards 2011 and he has served as a portfolio reviewer in various international photo festivals and as a juror in the PDN Photo Annual, the Angkor photo workshop or the CENTER Project Launch Grant. In 2015 he has curated two group shows: the Fabrica exhibition at the Łódź Fotofestiwal and the Afterlife exhibition at the Athens Photo Festival.
Born in Italy. She works independently in the world of photography covering a wide range of aspects that run from edition to the curating of exhibitions and books. Arianna regularly runs photography workshops and courses, and participates in the viewing of portfolios from all over the world. She currently directs the magazine OjodePez and is the artistic director of the festival Cortona On The Move, in Tuscanny. She was the archive director of Magnum Photos New York and graphic editor of the magazine revista Colors, as well as being photography consultant for D, La Repubblica’s weekly magazine. Arianna has served on the jury for various international awards such as Press Photo and forms part of the selection committee of Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund and of Joop Swart Masterclass, amongst others.
Born in Bilbao in 1976. She has been working professionally in the arts sector since the year 2000, carrying out tasks of production, curating, research, and project coordination. Her fields of interest include the new media and digital culture, the intersections between art and scientific culture, new knowledge production formats arising from the network culture, feminism and gender studies, and cultural policies. Over the last 15 years she has lived and worked in Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and Bilbao and collaborated with a host of organizations, publications and projects, at both a state and European level. Since 2014, she has been working at the art production enterprise consonni in Bilbao.
Born in Valencia in 1958. He received training in the History of Art at the University of Yale and City University in New York. His career straddles more than 20 years, occupying posts such as that of artistic director at the Instituto Valenciano de Arte Modeno (IVAM), founding director of the Museo Serralves in Oporto and director of the Tate Modern in London. He is also a member of the governing council of the Parasol Unit, in London, and of the Dalí Foundation, in Figueres. He is currently artistic director of Hangar Bicocca, in Milan, one of the main contemporary art centres in Italy. He is a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres and received the Order of Santiago da Espada in Portugal in 2003.
Born in Vevey in 1970. Since 2008, is curator at Festival Images (Switzerland), a real temporary open air museum by producing every two years monumental photography exhibitions in the streets. Also, he is General Secretary of the “Vevey Images Foundation”, he supervises the whole production of the festival and associated projects such as the exhibition space Quai1 or the Vevey International Photography Award. Working for more than twenty years on international artistic productions, he is connected with major international institutions both in the fields of contemporary art, video art and photography.
Born in Madrid in 1959. From 1985 through 1996 he was director of the Photography Department at the Círculo de Bellas Artes in Madrid, where organized the Festival FOCO (1985 to 1989). He has been artistic director and founder of PHotoEspaña in Madrid (1998 to 2000), He has curated the first three editions of the Festival GETXOPHOTO in Getxo, Bilbao; Mapas Abiertos. Fotografía Latinoamericana 1991-2002; C on Cities at the Padiglione Italia in the X Venice Biennale of Architecture, 2006. Guest curator for Latin America at the Biennale Photoquai, Paris; Seoul Photo Fair, South Korea and Singapore International Photography Festival. In 2014 he was director of the Daegu Photo Biennale in South Korea. He is currently director of the Latin American Master of Photography and Visual Arts at the Centro de la Imagen of Lima, Peru, and chief curator -with Wang Qingsong and François Hebel- of the First ChangJiang International Photography & Video Biennale, Chongqing, China.
Born in Madrid, Spain, in 1985. He graduated in Media Sciences from the Complutense University of Madrid. Then spent a couple of years in Copenhagen (Denmark) studying at the Copenhagen University prior to his moving to London (UK) where he graduated in Photographic Arts by the University of Westminster. Has exhibited collectively at various art centres, galleries and festivals, including Foto8, Free Range, The Photographers Gallery, SCAN Tarragona, Photo Ireland or PhotoEspaña in 2014. His first book, You Haven’t Seen Their Faces has been published by Riot Books in 2015.
Born in Santiago de Compostela in 1970. He completed a master’s degree in Documentary Photography and Photojournalism at the London College of Communication. He usually works with found and archive images, together with his own photography, creating photographic essays that address the complexity of migratory movements in the present context of political and economic inequality. His projects have appeared in media that include The British Journal of Photography and National Geographic, and he has participated in various collective shows in Argentina, the United Kingdom and Spain.
Born in Hondarribia, Gipuzkoa, in 1979. Studied Photography at the Institut d’Estudis Fotogràfics in Catalunya and at the International Center of Photography in New York, in addition to taking a Master’s Degree in Artistic Theories and Projects, via PhotoEspaña and the European University of Madrid. Has exhibited both collectively and individually at various art centres and galleries, including La Casa Encendida in Madrid, the Koldo Mitxelena in Donostia, Studio 304 in New York, the HBC centre in Berlin and the Sala d’Art Jove in Barcelona. Currently living in Barcelona where he works as a teacher of Photography.
Born in Oñati, Gipuzkoa, in 1968. Lives and works as a freelance illustrator, between Bilbao and Barcelona. His work consists of synthesizing ideas from conferences, texts and suchlike in drawings, a process that is known as Graphic Recording when executed live. He also develops story-boards and animations, and works both with digital media and physical mediums. In addition, he utilizes drawing as a pedagogical tool in educational projects associated with art,concerning issues of social exclusion and youth. Among his clients are the Basque Government, Euskal Telebista, Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Forum d’Avignon, BilbaoTown Hall, Fundación Donostia – San Sebastián 2016,and also a whole number of friends who display his caricatures in the social networks. Pernan Goñi