The 14th edition of Ireland’s International Festival of Photography and Image Culture comes to an end. Vibrant, friendly, all-inclusive: a festival for all to enjoy, this year’s edition took place between 30 June–23 July 2023.
PhotoIreland Festival 2023 brought to Ireland contemporary photography by celebrated artists from diverse cultural backgrounds through a series of guest-curated exhibitions by international curators, hundreds of publications from all over the world at the Tsundoku Art Book Fair 2023, an engaging public programme with a series of discursive events, book launches, and special events such as the Shasha Movies screening at the Light House Cinema.
The Printworks at the Dublin Castle was the center of the festival, where hundreds of visitors came to delve into the multiple exhibitions organised by the festival.
– Dust, Atong Atem
Catherine E. McKinley curated a new body of work by artist Atong Atem, commissioned by PhotoIreland, exploring the relationship of Dinka women, who act as mediums and custodians to the earth, to the rupturing history of Christianity and colonialism.
– I See the Face of Things to Come, Aida Silvestri, Bernice Mulenga, Frida Orupabo, Heather Agyepong, Hélène Amouzou, Lola Flash, Mónica de Miranda, Phoebe Boswell, Sethembile Msezane, Silvia Rosi, Zanele Muholi
Organised by international curator Renée Mussai, the exhibition showcased the work of a diverse constituency of contemporary creative practitioners gathered in a loosely curated visual communion, whose evocative praxis amplifies notions of self and other through the prism of past, present and future tenses.
– Double Exposures, Ethel-Ruth Tawe, Ben Krewinkel (Africa in the Photobook)
In Double Exposures, Cameroonian artist Ethel-Ruth Tawe responded to Africa in the Photobook, a platform and collection initiated by photographer and (photo)historian Ben Krewinkel with an investigation of the tensions which lie within the folds of pages, the afterlives of images, their captions, and contexts, paying particular attention to books from the 1880s to 1990s.
– RELAY, Daranijoh Sanni, Samantha Brown, Tobi Balogun
The results of the first edition of RELAY, a new artist-driven and artist-focused mentorship programme by PhotoIreland. Invited artist Alice Rekab worked with Irish and Ireland-based artists of the African diaspora, selected through an open call.
The Library Project hosted one of the main exhibitions And you, why are you black? by Rubén H. Bermúdez, an autobiographical narrative starting from an investigation into the origins of Spanish black slavery. Taking inspiration from his memory of the images, conversations and symbols that have marked his life, the artist recalls some of the everyday and out-of-the-ordinary events as seen from a Black perspective. The exhibition continues to run until the 27th August.
This edition also saw the return of the festival’s art book fair, first launched in July 2011, now renamed and rebranded as Tsundoku. With over 150 publishers and individual artists represented in 2023, Tsundoku Art Book Fair ran from 13-16th July 2023. Tsundoku featured a broad range of books from active publishers, artists and collectives, small presses, and institutions from Ireland and abroad. Tsundoku offered visitors four days of events with book launches, talks, book signings, and workshops for individuals and families.
The Professional Weekend returned this year, offering an opportunity to artists of all levels to meet with a number of invited international and Irish art professionals at the Critical Practice Reviews. We welcomed over 40 Irish and Ireland based artists to meet Irish and international professionals and look forward to seeing how their meetings manifest in the coming months.
As every year, we have the pleasure to highlight the work of other organisations and curators around the island of Ireland through the Featured Exhibitions section of the programme, and offering individuals and organisations the opportunity to participate in the festival programme through the Open Programme, the most effervescent element of the festival.
This year contributors including: City Assembly House, Crawford Art Gallery, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Rua Red Gallery, Royal Hibernian Academy, Cultúrlann, Chapel Hill School of Art, Ráth Mór Centre, Gallery X, Laneway Gallery, Black Hole Studio, The Darkroom, Irish Film Institute, Round Rabbit Studio, The Dean Arts Studios Gallery, Trinity College Dublin and Hen’s Teeth.