Capturing Young Perspectives: Student Exhibitions at Copenhagen Photo Festival

What tickles the future generation of photographers? At this year's festival we are very happy to present works from a host of student photographers from some of the finest schools of photography in the Nordics. In collaboration with five Nordic camera based schools Copenhagen Photo Festival showcases student work through a series of distinctive exhibitions from 6 to 16 June at the festival center at Refshaleøen. 

Book your festival ticket online here

DMJX, Danish School of Media and Journalism – Group Exhibition – Paradox

12 photojournalism students from the Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX) are showcasing documentary stories that explore the theme of paradox in Denmark and around the world. Eight of these students are in the 4th semester of their Danish BA education, while four are international students from Egypt, Sudan, Australia, and Turkey, presenting their final projects. All the stories were produced during the students' studies at DMJX in the spring of 2024.

Read more about it here.

Vera School for Art & Design – Group Exhibition – Entanglement: A Vera School Perspective

VERA School for Art & Design presents its exhibition at the Copenhagen Photo Festival, featuring the diverse works of 11 students under the theme “Entanglement.” Reflecting the school's emphasis on photography as an art form, the exhibition includes experimental, conceptual, and traditional approaches. The projects explore entanglement through books, prints, and photographic objects.

Selected students offer unique interpretations, resulting in a captivating mix of perspectives. This exhibition, a culmination of months of research and experimentation, highlights the intricacies of connection and interweaving. A physical catalog will also be available, showcasing the works on display.

Read more about it here.

OsloMet – Group Exhibition – It’s in our nature

“It’s in our nature” is the graduation exhibition for 11 OsloMet photographic journalism bachelor program students. This spring, the students participated in a six-week workshop in Nepal, led by Canon Ambassador Laura El-Tantawy, in collaboration with OsloMet, Pathsala South Asia Media Institute in Bangladesh, and photo circle in Nepal. Additionally, three students traveled to Sweden, Japan, and the US for their projects. The themes explored include women’s rights in education and the workforce, elderly care, agriculture, Himalayan adventures, earthquake aftermaths, and LGBTQ+ rights. The students will develop individual projects for their final exam, create a book, and curate this exhibition.

Read more about it here.

Oslo Photography Art School – Group Exhibition – Glowing Silence

Oslo Fotokunstskole presents "Glowing Silence," an exhibition featuring student work inspired by light and its dual role in photography. The pieces showcase various styles and levels open to interpretation and quiet reflection.

Marte Bjerkmo, one of the students, describes her work: "I have taken a picture of two people that is overexposed, almost glowing. I wanted to depict their existence or non-existence while removing what could identify them, including gender and orientation. Without typical portrait details, it's hard to understand who they are or make prejudices. Gender is irrelevant, but you still try to solve the 'riddle' of their identity. The project was influenced by the AIDS epidemic in the 20th century that killed so many queer people. The glowing figures convey mystery and uncertainty, portraying lives that were never lived."

Oslo Fotokunstskole focuses on photography and film education, with around 100 students taught by professional artists. The exhibition, curated by the school's teachers and head, will be displayed in containers at the Copenhagen Photo Festival.

Read more about it here.

Copenhagen Film and Photography School –  Book Exhibition

The photo book has become a major photographic expression in recent years. At this exhibition, KBH Film and Fotoskole showcases a selection of student-made books, ranging from personal to documentary content.

Each year, second-semester students participate in a six-week program on photography, sequencing, design, and bookbinding, working with the school’s instructors and top designers and bookbinders.

Read more about the event here


Worlds connected – interview with solo artist Chloé Milos Azzopardi in Aesthetica

The opening of this year's festival is rapidly approaching and we look forward to exhibit the work by Paris-
based photographer Chloé Milos Azzopardi with her latest project, Non Technological Devices. Get ready for the show by learning more about the artist in this exclusive article published by our partners at Aesthetica Magazine. Here, Azzopardi speaks about her ecologically engaged practice and sci-fi inspirations. Plus, you can take look at dreamlike images from her back catalogue.

Image Credit: Chloé Milos Azzopardi, 2022

Chloé Milos Azzopardi (b. 1994) caught the art world’s attention with Les formes qu’ils habitent en temps de crise (2022), a “futuristic fable” about how we can reconnect with the natural world post-Capitalocene. Here, Azzopardi riffed on a concept that entered the vernacular in 2016 after historian Jason W. Moore’s Anthropocene or Capitalocene? Nature, History, and the Crisis of Capitalism – a book which argues that the Earth entered a new era – the Capitalocene – in the 19th  century. According to Moore, contemporary crises are, all too often, rooted in “The Age of Capital.” Azzopardi’s photographic series imagined new interspecies relationships flourishing in an idyllic world: butterflies balancing on fingertips and nude figures emerging from the undergrowth. The power of nature was front and centre, with lightning strikes over horizon lines and a colour palette awash with deep greens and dreamy mauves.

From Copenhagen to Arles

Now, Azzopardi is touring a new project: Non-Technological Devices. The next stop is Copenhagen Photo Festival, and it’s a great fit for her ecologically-engaged practice. This year’s theme is Entanglement, highlighting artists who are making work that reflects how human beings, their environments and their actions are “co-dependently connected.”

Enter Azzopardi’s series of black-and-white images, showing low-tech sculptures made from natural materials. It has seen huge success over the past 12 months, travelling from Bristol to Melbourne, and, in July, it will land at Rencontres d’Arles, France’s iconic photography festival. In one shot, a wooden exoskeleton is layered over a hand. In another, an ice block takes the place of a virtual
reality headset. The idea: to make us think about the future of technology in a world stripped of resources – an idea that looms over us all as we continue to navigate the climate crisis.

Read the full article and interview with the artist here.


Lomography x CPF · Launching Worldwide Photo Competition

Image Credits: @Lomography 

‘Forget the rulebook and treasure life’s many surprises’ – together with our new playful and creative partner Lomography we are now launching a competition centered around the festival's 2024 theme: Entanglement! We encourage artists, photographers, and emerging talents to think creatively across time, space, and relations in all the ways we are co-dependently connected. Get a chance to win a spot at our next Photo Print Market, a DigitaLIZA, a Lomography camera, and more!

How does entanglement manifest in your world? Please submit your photos (max 20) that best represent the Entanglement theme taken on any film (or digital but shot with a Lomography art lens). Each picture must indicate the camera, film, or lens you used. With a prize for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, this competition is open worldwide and closes on June 16th. For the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, there will be the following prize:

1x Grand Prize Nordic Region
A booth at the Photo Print Market this Fall (read more about the previous edition here) + 1x DigitaLIZA Max + 1x MonoChrome Duet.

2x Grand Prize Worldwide
Free submission to the Copenhagen Photo Festival Open Call + Diana F+ Camera & Flash CMYK + 1x LomoChrome Metropolis 120.

2x Runner-up Prize
20 EUR voucher for the Online Shop.

Read the details and submit your photographs here

About Lomography

The Austrian-based brand Lomography has since 1991 created a positive, thriving community around analog photography and creative processes. In recent years they have even established The Lomo School for Photography – The Ultimate Guide to All Things Analogue – where professionals and newbies can get inspiration for their particular level of creativity and skill. 

“We’ve provided information about all the exciting experimental techniques that have been inspiring the imagination of Lomographers far and wide over the past 30 years. Users can learn how to shoot mesmerizing multiple exposures, uncover handy tips and tricks like mastering the pinhole, and read detailed explanations (that they understand) about what the hell pushing and pulling mean, and so much more.”  

Explore the Lomography universe here


Join the Festival's Exclusive Guided Tour to Louisiana

Step into The Detour of Identity, a groundbreaking exhibition where the enigmatic works of Roni Horn meet the cinematic genius of masters like Hitchcock and Bergman. The Louisiana Museum of Modern Art invites CPF festival pass guests to the museum (with a 25% discount) and a free guided tour of the Roni Horn exhibition on Wednesday, June 12th at 16.30.  Unveiling hidden layers of eroticism and desire, this Nordic debut of Horn’s art promises an unforgettable journey through the subtle and profound.

About The Artist

The Detour of Identity marks the first major solo presentation of Roni Horn (b. 1955) in the Nordic region. Renowned as one of the most influential and acclaimed contemporary artists, Roni Horn's work spans photography, drawing, and sculpture. A distinctive figure in contemporary art, known for her extensive work in photography, sculpture, and drawing—her primary medium. Her exhibitions have been featured in leading museums worldwide, and she is also an accomplished writer with numerous published books. Central to Horn's art is the exploration of identity. She poses fundamental questions about self, gender, emotional language, and the relationship between nature and humanity. Her artworks serve as concrete responses, open to interpretation. 

Discounts for Guests with a Festival Pass

Helle Søndergaard, the arts facilitator at Louisiana, will take you on a tour of the current exhibition featuring acclaimed American contemporary artist Roni Horn. Horn's work spans multiple media, including film and photography. The exhibition, characterized by a seemingly razor-sharp and cool aesthetic, contrasts themes of humanity and landscape, permanence and changeability, and obscurity and transparency, all expressed through the dynamic interplay of light, water, and weather.

The exhibition delves into themes of subtle undertones, secret messages, and erotic signals, showcasing Horn’s art in dialogue with classic films by directors such as Bergman, Dreyer, von Trier, Chabrol, and Hitchcock. These pairings reveal the profound influence of cinema on Horn’s work and highlight an intense focus on sexuality, the body, eroticism, and desire—elements often hidden beneath the surface of her conceptual imagery. Key works from throughout her career are featured, illustrating these intricate themes.

Book you exclusive free guided tour ticket here (you have to show the festival pass too)

Image Credit: Roni Horn, Cabinet of, 2001-2002, C prints, 36 parts (detail). Courtsey kunstneren og Hauser & Wirth ©Roni Horn

Exclusive Artist Talk on Refshaleøen: Elina Brotherus on Alvar Aalto

Image credit: Elina Brotherus, Elissa’s Room, 2020. From the series In the Architect’s House. Courtesy of artist.

Elina Brotherus, acclaimed photo and video artist, and Ulrikke Neergaard, director of the KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces will engage in a discussion at Copenhagen Photo Festival, Refshaleøen on the 15th of June from 15.00–16.00, through a collaborative effort between Copenhagen Photo Festival, KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces, and Martin Asbæk Gallery. Embark on a captivating dialogue between Brotherus and Neergaard as they unravel the mysteries behind Brotherus' compelling imagery within Alvar Aalto's architectural realm.

The conversation will delve into Brotherus' latest exhibition, “IN THE ARCHITECT'S HOUSE: ELINA BROTHERUS ON ALVAR AALTO," exploring her portrayal of fictional female figures within Alvar Aalto's architectural masterpieces in Finland and France. They will examine Brotherus' manipulation of reflections and mirrors in her photography, as well as her unique ability to create three-dimensional depth on a flat surface, resulting in her signature painterly quality.

About The Artist

Elina Brotherus' art oscillates between autobiographical and art historical approaches. Initially focused on subjective experiences, her work has evolved to explore the human figure, landscape, and the artist-model relationship. Based in Helsinki, Finland, and Avallon, France, Brotherus holds an MA in Photography from the University of Art and Design Helsinki and an MSc in Chemistry from the University of Helsinki. Among her honors are the Artist Professorship Grant from the Arts Promotion Centre Finland and Carte Blanche PMU, France. Her works are featured in over 80 public collections worldwide, including the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, LACMA in Los Angeles, and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm.

Read more about the event here.

Book your festival pass here

 


Introducing FRAMES Magazine: on paper and podcast

A passion for photography on paper, engaging people in photography and in depth podcasts about photography – what's not to like? We are very excited to introduce a new, cool media partner for this year's festival as we are teaming up with the breathtaking Swiss FRAMES Magazine, who have just released a podcast on their platform with our festival director Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen.

FRAMES magazine was established during Covid-19 and already a few years on the magazine has a large and growing international following. The magazine share our passion for encouraging creativity, analogue photography and a keen interest in engaging a community around photography which made it a natural next step to collaborate – and all our festival guests and followers benefit too from this match.

Click on play to listen to the FRAMES podcast with festival director Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen 

Photography belongs on paper

The engaged team behind FRAMES Magazine strongly believe that excellent photography belongs on paper. As a modern photography magazine in a digital world, their goal is to bring compelling photographs, and the stories behind them, to the hands of professionals and admirers alike.  "Four times a year, FRAMES gives photographers of all genres and mediums a place for their art to be seen and voices to be heard. We believe in providing a community that inspires people to pick up a camera and let their creativity run wild," says chief editor Tomasz Trzebiatowski.

"Each quarterly edition of FRAMES contains 112 pages printed on the highest quality 140g uncoated paper. Our subscribers receive the magazine delivered straight to their doorstep. We feature both established and emerging photographers of different genres. We pay very close attention to new, visually striking, thought-provoking imagery, while respecting the long-lasting tradition of photography in its purest incarnation. FRAMES features work of both established and emerging photographers of different genres and mediums."

Discounts for festival guests and followers

Our partnership with FRAMES magasin is also benefitting the Copenhagen Photo Festival's guests and followers as you can delve into the contents of the physical magazine at our CPF Photo Book both at the Photo Book Market 8 and 9 June. As a one off chance all new subscribers get a 15% discount when signing up at the photo book market.

FRAMES' subscribers automatically gain full access to monthly issues of FRAMES Digital Companions and FRAMES Photography Circle membership platform, including online LIVE events with their photographer guests.

Sign up to the physical magazine using the discount code CPF15 for 15% off. 

Creating community and deepening the knowledge around photography with podcasts

Another good reason to follow the FRAMES Magazine endavours, is the FRAMES podcast series with interviews with notable artists, photographers and people within the industry. We highly recommend the latest podcast where host W. Scott Olsen interviews our festival director, Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen, about the history and particular curatorial quality of the Copenhagen Photo Festival as well as her thoughts about the future of the festival.


Tag med til FESTIVAL KICKSTART 2024!

Talk med Yana Wernicke under årets fotobogmarked på GL STRAND. Foto: Hans Vedsted

Lægger du eller din institution hus til en interessant fotoudstilling i juni 2024? Eller er du i gang med at koordinere en undergrundsudstilling i et af byens uafhængige udstillingssteder? Eller måske planlægger du en fotobogslancering, fotoperformance eller en artist talk med en anerkendt fotograf eller kamerabaseret kunstner?

Hvis det er tilfældet, kan du nu blive klogere på, hvad det vil sige, at være udstillings- eller eventpartner under Copenhagen Photo Festival, når vi inviterer til

FESTIVAL KICKSTART 2024

den 17. januar kl. 17-18.30.

i Villa Kultur på Krausesvej 3 på Østerbro

Her kan du høre mere om vores tanker for 2024, hvor vi fejrer 15 års jubilæum, og selv bringe gode ideer på banen. Vi ønsker nemlig at skabe en endnu stærkere sammenhængskraft på tværs af festivalens partnere. I løbet af mødet vender vi både publikumsbesøg, aktiviteter og nye initiativer såvel som markedsføringstiltag. Der bliver rig mulighed for at lufte ideer, forventninger og spørgsmål (se program nedenfor). 

I 2024 var der 44.000 besøgende på tværs af Copenhagen Photo Festivals +70 forskellige udstillings-, event-, og fotobogspartnere samt et imponerende udstillings-, talk- og eventprogram. Vi ser allerede nu frem til Copenhagen Photo Festival 2024 den 6.-16. juni og håber, at I vil være med til at fejre fotografiet sammen med os til den tid!

 Vi har en masse spændende ting i støbeskeen og vil blandt andet folde årets tema – ‘‘Entanglement’ – ud.

SU – Klik her for at tilmelde dig FESTIVAL KICKSTART 2024

Læs mere om at være festivalpartner her: https://copenhagenphotofestival.com/en/partner/

 


Bridges are Beautiful: Mød kunstneren bag!

Image credit: Marina Caneve

English text below 👇 

Kom og vær med, når Copenhagen Photo Festival, Fotografisk Center og Det Italienske Kulturinstitut sammen er værter for en aften i selskab med den internationalt anerkendte italienske kunstner Marina Caneve, der besøger Danmark i forbindelse med en researchtur omkring sit nuværende projekt “Bridges are Beautiful”. 

I samtale med festivaldirektør for Copenhagen Photo Festival, Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen, udfolder Caneve tankerne bag projektet "Bridges are Beautiful". Samtalen giver et indblik i den unge kvindelige kunstners modige og allerede omfattende kunstneriske praksis, der i det aktuelle projekt afsøger gråzonerne i vores naturbeskyttelse og økosystemer. Hun fortæller, hvordan projektet har relation til dansk naturbeskyttelse og biodiversitet, og sammen vil de to berøre den bredere diskussion af grænsedragninger, territorier og frihed og lægge op til en dialog med publikum.

OM PROJEKTET ‘BRIDGES ARE BEAUTIFUL’

Projektet ‘Bridges are Beautiful' undersøger med afsæt i naturbeskyttelsesloven Natura 2000, de steder i Europa, der har til formål at opretholde naturen og forbedre biodiversiteten. Biodiversiteten er i stigende grad truet af menneskeskabte infrastrukturer, der har en direkte indvirkning på økosystemerne. Naturbeskyttelsesloven blev vedtaget i 2014 med et krav om, at der skulle bygges broer rundt om i Europa for at fremme biodiversiteten.  Marina Caneve har sat sig for at fotografere de mere end hundrede broer i Europa, der er opført for at dyrene skal kunne bevæge sig frit. For spørgsmålet er, hvor frie dyrene egentlig er? Overvågning af dyrene sker i større grad end nogensinde før for at følge naturens tilstand og dokumentere, om tiltagene virker. Med sit projekt spørger Caneve, hvorvidt vores dyr lever frit eller om de konstant er under overvågning og i fangenskab. 

OM MARINA CANEVE

Marina Caneve (f. 1988), er en italiensk kunstner og fotograf uddannet fra Royal Academy of Arts i Haag (NL). Hun arbejder med miljømæssige, sociale og kulturelle forandringer gennem en forskningsbaseret og tværfaglig tilgang. I sine projekter ønsker hun at konfrontere vores uvidenhed om teknologiens indvirkning på vores miljø. I de seneste år har Caneve deltaget i forskningsprojekter, heriblandt forskningen om frihed og bevægelse blandt dyr i Europa. Caneves værker er en fast del af de italienske samlinger på MAXXI, MUFOCOo, ICCD, National Mountain Museum, Collezione Farnesina og i private samlinger.

PROGRAM

Kl. 17.00 Dørene åbnes, og der serveres et glas vin sponsoreret af Det Italienske Kulturinstitut.

Kl. 17.30 – 18.30 Samtale mellem kunstner Marina Caneve og direktør for Copenhagen Photo Festival, Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen. Efter samtalen kan publikum stille spørgsmål.

Samtalen foregår på engelsk.

ENTRÉ

Talken er gratis efter entréprisen er betalt:

- Voksne: 40 kr.

- Studerende / pensionister: 20 kr.

- Medlemmer: Gratis

Arrangementet finder sted på Fotografisk Center, Staldgade 16, 1699 København

www.fotografiskcenter.dk

Læs mere om Marina Caneve her: 

www.marinacaneve.com

________________

(UK)

Bridges are beautiful: Talk with Festival Director Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen and the Italian artist Marina Caneve. 

Come and join us, when Copenhagen Photo Festival, Fotografisk Center, and the Italian Cultural Institute host an evening with the internationally accomplished Italian artist Marina Caneve, who is visiting Denmark as part of her research trip for her current project, Bridges are Beautiful. The project, promoted by FMAV Fondazione Modena Arti Visive, Italy, is supported by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture under the Italian Council program (2023).

In conversation with the festival director of Copenhagen Photo Festival, Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen, Caneve unfolds the thoughts behind the project Bridges are Beautiful. The talk is also about the young female artist’s courageous and already extensive practice, which currently explores the grey areas in our nature conservation and ecosystems. During the talk Caneve will talk about how the project relates to Danish nature conservation and biodiversity, and together they will touch on the broader discussion of boundaries, territories, and freedom, leading to a dialogue with the audience.

ABOUT THE PROJECT ‘BRIDGES ARE BEAUTIFUL’

The project Bridges are Beautiful is based on the Natura 2000 nature protection law, which aims to maintain nature and improve biodiversity. Biodiversity is increasingly threatened by human-made infrastructures that have a direct impact on the ecosystems. The nature protection law was passed in 2014 with a requirement to build bridges across Europe to gain biodiversity. 

Marina Caneve wants to photograph the more than hundred bridges in Europe that were built in relation so animals could move freely. The question is, how free the animals truly  are? Animal surveillance is happening more than ever to monitor the processes of nature and document whether initiatives are effective. 

ABOUT MARINA CANEVE 

Marina Caneve (b. 1988) is an Italian artist and photographer from the Royal Academy of Arts in Haag (NL). She’s exploring major environmental, social and cultural changes through a research based and multidisciplinary approach confronting our naive thoughts about the impact of technology on our environment. In recent years, Caneve has participated in research projects, including research on freedom and movement among animals in Europe. Caneve’s work can be found in the collections of institutions such as MAXXI, MUFOCO, ICCD, National Mountain Museum, Collezione Farnesina as well as private ones. Her work was shown in institutions such as MAXXI (Rome), La Triennale di Milano, Fotohof (Salzburg), Palazzo Reale (Milano), Institut Néerlandais (Paris).

PROGRAM

5:00 PM Doors open, and the Italian Cultural Institute serves a glass of wine. 

5.30 - 6.30 PM Talk with artist Marina Caneve and festival director of Copenhagen Photo Festival Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen. 

The talk will be in English. 

ENTRANCE 

The talk is free after the entrance fee has been paid: 

  • Adults: 40 DKK 
  • Students / pensioners: 20 DKK 
  • Members: Free

The event takes place at Fotografisk Center, Staldgade 16, 1699 Copenhagen 

www.fotografiskcenter.dk

Read more about Marina Caneve here: www.marinacaneve.com

____________

CLICK and FIND MORE PHOTO NEWS here


SUPERPOWER – Ghosts of the Atomic Age

Krümmel Kernkraftwerk on Elbe; Primary school in Tespe, part of Elbmarsch municipality. Photo: Oleksandr Martemianov

Ukrainian photographer spotlights the fragile superpowers of nuclear power in a new exhibition 

How do we tame the superpowers of technology – and is it possible? SUPERPOWER – Ghosts of the Atomic Age is a new photo-documentary exhibition at Dark Gallery CPH, opening on 29 September. Here, Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Martemianov questions whether we can tame nuclear technology. With his analogue large-format camera, Martemianov has registered 23 nuclear power plants, highlighting the fragile superpowers of nuclear energy in his exhibition, which includes the recent headline-grabbing Russian occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine to Sweden’s Barsebäck and Germany’s Krümmel nuclear power stations close to Danish boarders.

Explosive subject secretly photographed 

Over the past 4 years, Ukrainian photographer Oleksandr Martemianov has travelled Europe to document disused nuclear power plants with his analogue large-format camera – 23 locations in total. He has often had to photograph them surreptitiously to the best of his ability, since the caretakers of many decommissioned power stations prefer them to remain out of the public eye, and several of the plants are closed to the press and public. Desktop research has also been part of the photographer’s investigation, and he has spoken to some of the surprisingly few people tasked with guarding Europe’s defunct nuclear power plants.


Photo: Oleksandr Martemianov

The forgotten history of nuclear power 

In his first solo exhibition, the 33-year-old Sweden-based photographer and engineer unfolds the uneasy and entangled history of these nuclear power plants and the consequences they have had to society and human life. He poses the question: Are we as a society able to handle the complex, potent and impactful technology that we ourselves create – also in the future? A question that seems particularly relevant in a time when the energy crisis and war in Europe have revived old discussions both for and against nuclear power, and where artificial intelligence is reshaping our familiar notions of the scope and impact of our complex technologies.

Aging but highly potent technology 

SUPERPOWER showcases both the civilian and military aspects of the history of nuclear power – from the Krümmel plant in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where the local population experienced an increase in leukemia cases, to the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant in Ukraine, which has recently suffered attack by Russian occupation forces. Martemianov’s extensive photo-documentary project sets out to investigate an aging, yet still highly potent technology and delves into the often secretive, questionable operations of these ghosts of the past, which, for better or worse, still have a great impact on the lives of many people.

From Chornobyl to Barsebäck 

Photographer Oleksandr Martemianov grew up in the aftermath of nuclear disaster close to the infamous nuclear power plant in Chornobyl in Ukraine and was born four years after the incident. Later he relocated to Sweden, not far from the controversial nuclear power plant Barsebäck, where he lives and works today.

“Although I grew up close to Chornobyl during a time when nuclear power was increasingly seen as a threat, I’ve sought to keep an open mind about the pros and cons of the technology. As an engineer, I am perhaps less afraid of technology in general. However, I find the politics and vested interests that surround this field of technology the most disturbing aspects of all. You need to ask yourself if we, as a society, can handle such complex technologies,” says Martemianov.

A slow practice and clean aesthetic approach 

Martemianov's practice of using the large format camera gives the project an unusual slowness. The slow, analogue approach to the modern temples of technology, that these nuclear power plants are, invite us to reflect. The result is a series of analogue colour photographs that are characterized by a clean aesthetic approach resembling both the 'Neue Sachlichkeit' (New Objectivity) of the early 20th century but also has a kinship with the Danish photographer Finn Larsen's very stringent images.

 


Photo: Barsebäcks kärnkraftverk

Meet the photographer at Dark Gallery CPH

SUPERPOWER is the photographer’s first solo exhibition and takes place at Dark Gallery CPH in Copenhagen, which is dedicated to analogue photography and photo documentary and aims to offer immersive, slow storytelling. The gallery has three unique Dark Spaces where visitors, in this case, bring light to the rooms themselves by using the flashlight in their mobile phones to experience the subtleties of the exhibits, such as Soviet-era maps of Europe’s nuclear power plants. On 20 and 21 October, visitors can meet Oleksandr Martemianov in person at the gallery for a chat about his project. On 5 November at 15:00, the gallery also hosts a talk with Oleksandr Martemianov and physicist Jon Hindsgaul Hansen on the subject: Are we as a society able to control the complex super technologies we create?


Oleksandr Martemianov photographing Barsebäck Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden with his large-format analogue camera, 2023. Photo: Dark Gallery CPH

Opening Night

29 SEPTEMBER – 4 to 6 PM
Join us for a glass of wine and meet the photographer
opening speech 4.30 PM

Exhibition facts 

Exhibition period: 29 September – 25 November 2023. 

Opening hours: Thursday-Friday at 12:00-17:30 

Saturdays: 11:00-15:30 

Events and talks

Meet the photographer: 20 + 21 October during opening hours. 

Talk with Oleksandr Martemianov and Jon Hindsgaul Hansen: Nov 5 at 15:00

Address

Dark Gallery CPH 

Ryesgade 103 B 

DK-2100 Copenhagen 

(+45) 2033 4926

www.darkgallery.dk

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"If it's not fun and hopeful, it is not sustainable”

Image credit: Rebeca Buenrostro

How can the cultural sector contribute to the green transition? And can it convey environmental art without being boring and didactic? The interdisciplinary curator and co-founder of Fotofestiwal Lodz, Krzysztof Candrowicz, who participated in Copenhagen Photo Festival’s panel discussion on sustainable art practices this summer, has recently published an inspiring article on the subject that we are happy to share on our platforms. Not least because Candrowicz preaches ‘pleasure activism’ and points to constructive and hopeful approaches to how we can engage with the green transition in our everyday practice of art and institutions.

 

“It is crucial to provide intelligible and stimulating artistic content that makes the public emotionally or intellectually engaged with the subject matter”Krzysztof Candrowicz, co-founder of Fotofestiwal Lodz

 

Art and photography as a conveyor of change

In the article The Bold and Sustainable published in the recent edition of Il Giornale dell’arte called New Images: The ecological Footprint of Photography, Candrowicz proposes numerous constructive go-to solutions to approaching the glooming climate crisis from an art or art institutional perspective. He convincingly argues that art in general is a tremendously effective method to raise awareness and create activism around pressing matters like the full-toned climate crisis – and that photography in particular can help convey comprehensive understanding to some of the approaching catastrophes because of its ability to “make distant realities visible and available for experiencing.” 

The institutional responsibility 

But the importance of the institutional practice surrounding art is equally important in bringing on a change for the benefit of the climate. Candrowicz argues that even though the radical crisis can be overwhelming, the cultural sector is crucial for a ‘structural reconstruction’ of how we understand and solve the crisis, and he points specifically to how institutions and festivals like Utopias Lahti, Getxophoto, Fotofestiwal Lodz, FUTURES Photography platform and our very own Copenhagen Photo Festival work with this transformation on both a curatorial level as well as institutionally.

Pleasure activism or doomsday practice?

Lastly he advocates for ‘pleasure activism’ – that it is a main point to find a balanced way of sustainable practice. It is actually instrumental for the green transition, because a ‘doomsday’ practice will only have the opposite effect. 

With permission by Candrowicz we can now share his full article in English here, so you can get your dose of positive green transition art practice inspiration – scroll to page 27 to 35 for Candrowitcz’s article. 

 

Click here to view the english version of the article

Click here to view the online version of the article in Italian