Here at Copenhagen Photo Festival, we are excited to be supporting talented photo artists. After receiving an outstanding 396 applications in an international open call, the following seven artists were selected by our committee for there unique projects which explore complex and relevant narratives.
In response to the corona crisis, and in support of artists and photographers worldwide, CPF is increasing its support for this year’s selected exhibitors with increased exposure both on online and social media. Please help us support photographers worldwide by sharing images and information about the artists’ works.
Mitchell Moreno (United Kingdom)
In Body Copy (2019-2020), Mitchell Moreno takes the titles of adverts found on gay and queer hook-up sites, requesting someone or something specific, and constructs an imagined response to them. Mitchell Moreno, or they, act(s) as stylist, set decorator, subject and photographer.
The series aims to interrogate ideas around the performance of masculinity; the atomisation of queer sexualities; the interplay between identity and digital networked culture; and the photograph as an unstable and unreliable signifier of the self. The project consists more than 20 photographs exploring a range of archetypes, attributes, and acts, as well as a printed book in which the artist compiles 1000 found adverts from hook-up sites.
The project is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation @statenskunstfond
Mitchell Moreno (pronouns they/them/their) grew up in Leicester, UK and studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, before working for over a decade in theatre as a performer and director. From 2017 they refocused their creative practice around photography. Their work is engaged with queer culture, the performance of gender, and the non-conforming body as a charged site relating to discourses of power, agency, and identity politics. Their work has been shown in the National Portrait Gallery as part of the Taylor Wessing Prize and has been published in Photomonitor and the British Journal of Photography.
Kyrre Lien (Norway)
The Internet Warriors
More than a third of us participate in online debates, according to research done by Pew Research Centre. Meanwhile, a new arena for hateful expressions, whether it is on Facebook or in comment sections of news websites have evolved. Online debates have become one of the most important channels for free speech, including an arena for controversial statements not published elsewhere. It is an arena where everyone can participate, regardless of education, ethnic background, gender or location. The Internet Warriors (2017) uncovers some of the commenters who make the most controversial statements and use much of their time expressing themselves online. Lien met, documented and interviewed, photographed and filmed the commenters during a three year period. Using storytelling techniques he explores the contrasts of how these people appear in real life as well as in the digital world with the intention of creating a more nuanced debate about freedom of speech in the age of the Internet.
Many people think the internet debaters are people you wouldn’t normally come across in public. But Lien describes The Internet Warriors as normal people; family fathers- and mothers with jobs and friends—people who, for a long time, has been debated about, but not with. The project comprises a documentary film, a photo series and an interactive website. The project’s documentary film has been seen over 1 million times on the Guardian’s website. In addition, the project has been mentioned in the New York Times Lens, Der Spiegel and The Observer. These mentions are estimated to have been viewed by nearly 3 million people. Over 30.000 people have viewed the project’s website. The project has received multiple awards, including 1st place in the Lumix Awards in Germany.
Kyrre Lien is an award-winning Norwegian visual journalist with photography as his main practice. His work has been published in the majority of Norwegian newspapers and he mainly works for clients such as VG, Aftenposten and The Guardian He is acclaimed for his use of new media and visual storytelling. In 2017 he was named by Forbes Magazine to be one of 30 young media entrepreneurs “defining the ever-shifting world of news and content.”
Dafna Tal (Israel)
You’re Gorgeous, You’re Mad
Dafna Tal’s video installation You’re Gorgeous, You’re Mad (2019) reveals the complex image of one’s self-perception. In this work, Tal investigates how we interact with ourselves when no one is watching, or listening. In the first of two self-confronting acts, participants were invited to express their thoughts and feelings about themselves, both likes and dislikes. Their voices were recorded and used for the second act in which the participants were confronted with their own reflections whilst listening to the audio pieces from the first session. This confrontation evoked a wide range of feelings and reactions, as well as an intensified confrontation between their conscious and subconscious self-image. The work was created in Cape Charles, Virginia, USA, as part of the artist residency Experimental Film Virginia.
The project is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation @statenskunstfond
Dafna Tal studied at New York’s International Center of Photography (ICP) and received an European Diploma from the Association Marcel Hicter, Belgium in cultural project management. Her artistic practice incorporates photography, video and sound and explores emotional and mental perceptions as expressed in various cultures and communities.
Tal’s works have been exhibited internationally including The Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, as well as at the Casula Powerhouse Arts Center in Sydney Australia, both in 2018. In the same year she was chosen to be a Canon ambassador. Her participation in group exhibitions includes ‘’Jerusalem: A self-Portrait’’ at the Museum On The Seam in Jerusalem (2019), and “The Women’s Eye”, Visa pour L’Image, Perpignan, France (2018).
Roman Korovin (Latvia)
My Family Photo Album
Roman Korovin’s My Family Photo Album (2018) is a fictitious document of an imaginary family album. Mystical time and space become a locus where important human milestones—such as birth, love, loss, death etc.—are played out. They are also re-framed. Birth is not the beginning and death is not the end.
In this series, Korovin creates an ironic gesture. Rather than documenting or capturing reality, real lives, places and objects, inanimate objects become characters and places are not connected to the events that they portray, or suggest. In this way, Korovin plays with photography’s ability to shift between the real and the constructed. In the harsh political conditions and economical divisions of today, Korovin underlines the importance of imagination, to create novel worlds and realities, and to explore different ways of interpreting the real.
The project is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation @statenskunstfond
Roman Korovin works primarily with photography but also creates videos, paintings, drawings and ready-made installations that all draw from his photographic work. He has participated in solo exhibitions and numerous group shows both in Latvia and abroad, including most recently “Ornamentalism. Contemporary Latvian Art” at the Collateral Events Program of the 56th Venice Biennale (Italy).
Korovin won the Latvian Photography Award in 2006 and was nominated for the Purvītis Prize for works from the exhibition “Is the Medium the Message? Latvian Contemporary Photography” in 2008. Korovin obtained his Master’s degree in Graphics department of Art Academy of Latvia (1997) and worked as a music clip and advertisement Director for the Latvian production company “Vilks Studio” from 1996-2010. In 2000-2002 he was Assistant Manager at Fulcrum Gallery (New York, USA).
Meinrad Schade (Switzerland)
In his series Unresolved (published in 2018), Meinrad Schade offers a new perspective to the endless Israel/Palestine conflict. In contrast to classical war photography, he is concerned with portraying places at varying distances from war, both temporally and geographically. Rather than focusing on the actual events of the war, Schade addresses how conflict becomes visible in everyday life. Faces and bodies, cities and streets, living rooms, the way to work, and leisure parks, museums, memorial days, and theatre stages: all areas of life are affected by conflict—for a long time. In these conditions, they also are trapped in an endless loop of building, destruction, and rebuilding; of volition and destruction.
Schade travelled to the regions of both parties to the conflict, moving back and forth in Israel, the West Bank, on the Golan Heights, and in the Gaza Strip. He experienced extremely different societies, realities, attitudes, and diverse perspectives on the same situation. This became a real, lived experience. Schade sought to capture the situation in new eyes but also to portray the reactions and counter-reactions, images and counter images, which supply a steady stream of fresh fuel for the unresolved conflict. The series is published in a book Unresolved, a continuation of Schade’s book War Without War from 2015 in which he documented the lingering, damaging marks of war on the former Soviet Union.
After completing a degree in biology at the University of Zurich, Meinrad Schade worked as a press photographer with the St. Galler Tagblatt. In 2002 he began working as a freelance portrait photographer and photojournalist and joined the Lookat Photos agency. For the last 15 years, Meinrad Schade has been moving along the borders of conflicts, exploring and questioning what is visible beyond the epicentres of war. In 2011 he was honoured with the Swiss Photo Award and also with the ewz selection award for ‘Editorial Photography.’ In 2013 he won the n-ost journalism prize for ‘Photojournalism.’
Ilvy Njiokiktjien (Netherlands)
Ilvy Njiokiktjien’s series Born Free (2019) illustrates that the legacy of centuries of inequality and the remnants of apartheid still exist in South African society today. Prior to the early 1990s, people were living in segregated grids and their rights and access to public spaces were determined by the colour of their skin. In 2007, during her work in South Africa, Ilvy Njiokiktjien became intrigued by the born-frees, the first generation born after apartheid.
Her extensive decade-long project, comprising hundreds of images a documentary and video clips, Born Free tells of struggle and resilience, but also of progression. It illustrates the Mandela generation from across the country and every layer of society: the rich and poor, black, white, Indian and coloured, city and rural, of different faiths and social and cultural groups. It also portrays the National Youth Policy, a vision for improving the lives of youths, that was drafted during Mandela’s presidency that paid special attention to groups such as young women, unemployed men, rural youth or people with HIV/Aids. Crime, poverty and corruption are still keeping many of the born-frees captive and many black South Africans are still disadvantaged, with fewer employment opportunities and lower wages than white people. However, South Africa is the only African country where gay marriage is legal.
Ilvy Njiokiktjien is an independent documentary photographer and multimedia journalist based in the Netherlands, represented by VII Photo Agency. She has worked worldwide, with a focus on Africa and covers current affairs and contemporary social issues. Her work has been published in a.i. The New York Times, Der Spiegel, NRC Handelsblad, Telegraph Magazine and Stern, and was exhibited at Visa pour l’Image in 2012. She received a Canon AFJ Award, two awards at World Press Photo and the first prize in POYi’s Issue Reporting Multimedia Story.
Chirag Jindal (New Zealand)
Into the Underworld/Ngā Mahi Rarowhenua
For his series, Into the Underworld / Ngā Mahi Rarowhenua (2018- Ongoing), Chirag Jindal investigated an ancient network of caves, once burial grounds and war shelters. This subterranean underworld beneath the banality of Auckland’s suburbia is nowadays reduced to urban myth and fictional narratives.
Māori, New Zealand’s indigenous people, consider these spaces tapu (sacred), and in the past have used them as burial sites or hideaways during times of conflict. Today their existence is not common public knowledge, and they are largely ignored by the developers that destroy them. More than fifty sites have been recorded in the past, but few will remain by the end of the century. While our life at the surface is threatened by climate change, the project has transmitted knowledge, civic awareness and informed policy changes to protect the dilapidating landscape.
Over the last 3 years, Jindal operated a terrestrial 3D mapping of the caves, collaborating with speleologists, local landowners, iwi (Māori) and local council. Carrying heavy LiDAR instruments he crawled through roadside manholes and streetfront garages to record remnant sites across the city. LiDAR, an emerging form of lens-based imaging applied in archaeological surveying and criminal forensics, registers its surroundings in millions of precisely-measured points, translating the world into a digital facsimile of light and shadow. Through a process of exploring, mapping, archiving and projecting, the project takes an empirical approach to bring something fictionalised and inaccessible into the domain of public visibility, offering it as something to be recognised, preserved and managed as a shared heritage. Jindal’s dark and atmospheric images function as mysterious time-lapses distinguished from the life above the ground.
While the project is ongoing, the works have been exhibited throughout Europe, presented in books and magazines and has won several prizes including Royal Photographic Society’s Under 30’s Gold Award in 2020.
Chirag Jindal, based in New Zealand, works at the intersection of documentaryjournalism, new media and contemporary cartography. After graduating with his Master’s degree in Architecture at the University of Auckland in 2016, he began exploring the role of LiDAR (light detection and ranging) as a photographic medium for architectural documentation. Jindal’s developing practice seeks to document our relationship to marginalised landscapes, attempting to unravel the “hidden effects, and unseen layers, of human presence.”
Upcoming projects include studies into pre-colonial archaeological war sites, a new incurable disease destroying native tree species, and an untitled solo project to be exhibited at the Bialystok Interphoto Festival in 2021.