The future will came to Hamburg: 18 – 28 June 2015, Triennial of Photography Hamburg
Eight museum exhibitions under the motto THE DAY WILL COME
The international photo festival Triennial of Photography Hamburg brought out the best in Hamburg as a city of photography, with numerous photo exhibitions and events at various locations spotlighting the theme of “The Future.” From 18 – 28 June 2015, international photo professionals and enthusiasts met at the Alster. The ten days of the festival featured an extensive program of events.
Images Rule Our World
The inflation of mobile-phone photography, the omnipresence of the Internet, the easy accessibility of found images, and advances made in digital image production – all of these developments have set off a revolution in everyday photography. The Triennial of Photography will look at the current relevance of the medium and the importance of artistic photography – in a world in which the photographic image has long since become a global form of communication across all language barriers and an all-encompassing social phenomenon.
The Main Exhibitions at the Museums
Under the title WHEN WE SHARE MORE THAN EVER (19 June – 20 Sept. 2015), the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe was juxtaposing works from its own collection with pieces by contemporary artists. The idea here was to shed light on historical and contemporary uses of photography as a medium of communication. The Hamburg Historical Museums were confronting newly discovered treasures from their photography collections with works by four contemporary artists from Sputnik Photos in an exhibit titled WHEN THE PAST MEETS THE FUTURE. The Kunstverein in Hamburg, in the exhibition WHEN PHOTOGRAPHY REVISES (19 June – 13 Sept. 2015), asked six questions of photography that outline its relevance within contemporary image discourses.
The exhibition WHEN THERE IS HOPE (19 June – 13 Sept. 2015) at the Hamburger Kunsthalle traced ambivalent and highly controversial aspects of the “principle of hope” in contemporary photography based on works by international artists. WHEN MAN FALLS at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg / House of Photography (19 June – 6 Sept. 2015) presented work groups by the contemporary photographer Phillip Toledano, who lives in New York and develops socially relevant and highly personal visions of the future. Also on view were 60 historical and contemporary portraits from the F.C. Gundlach Collection on similar themes. The Bucerius Kunst Forum addressed in WHEN WATER MATTERS (13 June – 20 Sept 2015) how the physical and optical qualities of water – including its destructive power – have been treated in photography and painting since 1800.
The Special Shows
Complementing the museum exhibitions, Special Shows illuminatde the theme of “The Future.” The exhibition #snapshot from the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, examined the changes wrought on photo culture by digitization and the Internet. In When the Millennium Begins, Henrik Spohler showed “realized utopias” of global production and distribution in four photo series. The show Facing New Spaces at Designxport presented works by students in Bielefeld, Kassel, and Hanover that interpreedt the theme of the festival on the political, social, architectural, aesthetic, and spiritual levels. At the Deichtorhallen Hamburg / Falckenberg Collection, a retrospective was on view titled Lynn Hershman Leeson – Civic Radar, showcasing one of the first and most influential media artists, who has done groundbreaking work in the field of photography while also dealing with pressing social issues.
The Festival Center with the Container Village
The focal point of the festival was the Container Village outside the Deichtorhallen, where visitors could obtain information, tickets, and catalogues, and which was also the setting for exhibitions and parties. In the former ship containers, ten European photo festivals and nine photo schools were presenting exhibits. As our international partner, the Photoville festival from New York was showing contemporary US photography in six containers.
The Satellite Shows
The Triennial of Photography Hamburg was a cooperative event involving a number of different photography stakeholders in the city. Over forty galleries and additional organizers were represented with Satellite Shows. New exhibition venues awaiting discovery include old warehouses in the Oberhafenquartier, artists’ houses, churches and apartments, the university, the Chamber of Commerce, and the foyer of the SPIEGEL publishing house.
The Triennial also reached out into the public space, by way of the European art project Flâneur, organized by Procur.arte from Portugal.
A seven-volume catalogue ensemble was published on the museum exhibitions, as well as a book outlining the artistic director’s concept accompanied by statements by photography experts on the future of photography. The catalogue has 256 pages and 189 illustrations and is available for €38. A Festival Guide offerd an overview of exhibitions and events, and a Program Schedule provided dates and times.
Hamburg Ministry of Culture
Hamburg Marketing GmbH
The Finnish Museum of Photography
University of Tampere