Collaborative efforts in the world of photography seem to respond to times of change. Magnum Photos, the classic example of a photographic co-operative, was founded in 1947. It is now the most prestigious photographic agency in the world. Ostkreuz, its smaller German cousin, was founded in former East Berlin in 1990, just one year after the fall of Wall. The main purpose of these agencies was, and to a certain extent still is, to protect its members’ copyrights and to promote them in the magazine and publishing market.
Of late we have seen the rise of another collaborative form – Photography Collectives. These collectives concentrate on the collaborative process by organising workshops, group exhibitions, and collaborative projects. They see the collective approach as an alternative economic model, a sustainable principle of art production, where process, experience, authorship, responsibility and success are shared. And they are convinced that this model has serious advantages in the current context of local and global crisis.
Through our theme in 2011, ‘Collaborative Change’, we propose an exploration of a set of practices and modes of production where artists, curators and cultural organisations work in collaboration, or are focused on highlighting the efforts of those who do so. Promoting an idea of cultural entrepreneurship and cooperation, the festival intends to comment on current efforts by individuals and organisations addressing recent shifts, and also to search for unexplored paths towards new modes of collaboration.
We have programmed photographic exhibitions by European photo collectives, and site specific installations by two curatorial teams. A seminar will be held with international guests from diverse disciplines such as Economics, Art, Information Science, Sociology and Politics, to investigate the theme of the festival. There will be a selection of screenings that will run in parallel to the seminar.
More detailed information will be offered in the coming weeks.