After the success of the past edition, FOTOGRAFIA – International Festival of Rome invited artists aged under 40 years and of all nationalities, who use the medium of photography, to participate in the 4th edition of the Call for Artists.
The theme of this year’s Call for Artists is associated with the theme of the 14th edition of the Festival: the Present.
In a world of constant and sudden acceleration, photographic practice – whose mechanisms of production and distribution are now almost immediate – present itself as art privileged to fix and define the present, to observe and to delimit its boundaries. Defining the boundaries of the present means in the first place to separate it and to abstract it from the time restrictions that threaten it, which have been already heavily investigated, and turn our gaze instead at that endless moment capable of self-represention and self-determination. Thus depriving the photography both from nostalgia of what have been, and from the anxiety caused by the transformations of tomorrow, emerges the time of the experience that is the time of what is felt and lived. This way of looking at this present time means to look around and understand the space around us, overtaking the rhetoric of the decisive moment and turning instead to the unrepeatable of today, positioning ourselves at the center of this universe and investigate the links that build the world as we today perceive it, observe it and then live it.
FOTOGRAFIA – International Festival of Rome selected among the about 300 participants from the Call for Artists 10 finalists that were particularly deserving. Among these, This World and Others Like it by the north american artist Drew Nikonowicz generated most interest and has been award as the winner.
This World and Others Like It investigates the role of the 21st century explorer by combining computer modeling with analogue photographic processes. Drawing upon the language of 19th Century survey images, the artists question their relationship with current methods of record making. Thousands of explorable realities exist through rover and probe based imagery, virtual role-playing, and videogame software.Within the contemporary wilderness,robots have replaced photographers as mediators producing images completely dislocated from human experience. For the artist this suggests that now the sublime landscape is only accessible through the boundaries of technology.
The nine finalists who were particularly deserving comes from almost all over the world: Marco Lachi (IT), Lam Pok Yin Jeff & Chong Ng (SG), Stefanie Moshammer (AT), Nicola Nunziata (IT), Benedikt Partenheimer (DE), Zhao Qian (CHN), David Steinberg (US), Pascal Vossen (NL), Alba Zari & Sharon Ritossa (IT).
The finalists have shown an highly complex and varied vision of the present. With different methodologies and sensitivity, the theme was developed, giving rise to personal views and stories from small communities focusing on the mechanisms of identity formation. Current issues of a more global aspect, such as the role of women in the Middle East or the issue of migration, were faced with extreme originality making room for artistic research. Precious contributions has came from investigations that would call into question the very practice of photographing and its mechanisms of production and utilization.