(PHOTO)Forum -Talks is the new podcast series hosted by Photoforum Pasquart and Ursina Leutenegger. The podcast introduces artists and thinkers in the field of photography that have inspired the programme of Photoforum, giving insights into their research, work and photographic vision. The different episodes feature the invited protagonists who provoke social change through photography, employ exciting practices that expand the form, and critically explore the role of images in visual culture today.
For the 4th episode Ursina Leutenegger talks with Emmanuel Van der Auwera, a Belgian artist who's work challenges the self-evident nature of found documentary images. His photographs, films and video installations use polarising visual material circulating in digital spaces, addressing the ethical responsibility in dealing with images of violence and collective trauma. In regard to the recent school mass shootings in the USA, the works on display are frighteningly topical. They can be read as a plea for a critical approach to mediatised depictions of violence. At the same time, they provide a fascinating insight into the merciless kaleidoscope of the digital image flux by questioning our visual literacy: How do images of contemporary mass media operate on various publics and to what end? Where is the borderline to voyeurism? Which images do we trust and why do they go viral? Emmanuel Van der Auwera (*1982, BE) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. His work has been shown in numerous exhibitions, such as Centre Pompidou (Paris), Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich, Germany) or Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria). Recent solo shows comprise presentations at HEK (Basel, Switzerland) 2022 and at Botanique (Brussels, Belgium) 2019. Cover: Detail of the photograph of a bullet looking like a flower, part of the Full Alice-Series shown at Photoforum Pasquart.
August 31, 2022
For the third episode Ursina Leutenegger talks with the artist Sheida Soleimani. Her works explore intersections of photography, sculpture, performance and film to highlight critical perspectives on political events in the Middle East and the Global North. Her multi-media collages use imagery sourced from the internet, especially that of politicians, torture victims and dictators. Through constructing staged sets in her studio and documenting these scenes with the camera, she aims to highlight a feminist take on historical and sociopolitical issues that are currently circulating within society. Referring to these scenes as a “theatrical tableaux”, Soleimani often integrates people and animals to play the roles of her politicised characters, before photographing the scene as a three-dimensional collage image. Sheida Soleimani (*1990, US/IR) is the daughter of political refugees persecuted by the Iranian government in the 1980s. She resides in Providence and is currently an Assistant Professor of Studio Art at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. Recent solo exhibitions include Castello San Basilio, Puglia, Italy (2022), Providence College Galleries, Providence, USA (2022); Denny Dimin Gallery, New York, USA (2020); MoMA PS1, New York, USA (2017). Cover: Sheida Soleimani, Minister of Petroleum, UAE & Former President of the United States, 2018
August 15, 2022
The second episode is a conversation between Joud Toamah (artist), Sorana Munsya (guest-curator) and Ursina Leutenegger. Joud Toamah’s (*1992, SY) artistic practice is interested in the relationship between photography and memory. Her work often uses archives of digitized images of family albums that the artist sources from acquaintances, friends and family members in Syria and the diaspora. Toamah collects pictures that have undergone processes of scanning, uploading, searching, renaming, forwarding, etc. in order to create digital archives of private and intimate images. By doing so, photography becomes a place where relation is possible. She has recently shown work during the .tiff exhibition as part of Futures Photography project, at Aair Antwerp for the group exhibition ‘What Stories Want’, and was selected for the 2020 funds for a solo exhibition under the title ‘A sense of what I Remember’ at Fomu, Antwerp, 2022. Sorana Munsya (DR Congo/Belgium) is a curator and psychologist based in Brussels. In her curatorial practice and writings, she focuses on the connections between art and individual as well as on collective healing strategies and practices. Working on contemporary visual art created by African artists, she served as assistant curator of the 5th Lubumbashi Biennale of Contemporary Art. Moreover, she recently curated a solo exhibition of artist Léonard Pongo at Bozar, Brussels, and a solo exhibition of artist Michële Magema at Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp. Munsya is part of the editorial team of the Belgian art magazine HART and founder of the platform LOBI that initiates conversations and projects between artists and practitioners from different disciplines. The exhibition is part of the Journées photographiques de Bienne. Cover: Exhibition view Photoforum Pasquart, 2022
May 22, 2022
The first episode introduces the artist Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah who was invited for a residency exhibition in early 2022. Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah (*1990) is an internationally exhibited and published German-Ghanaian visual artist and documentary photographer based in Zürich, Switzerland. Her work is frequently awarded for exploring new territories through image-making, research, and human connection. The artist and photographer’s work has been exhibited internationally since 2012 and has received numerous nominations and awards, including the Prix Photoforum 2020. Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah is co-hosting the regular NFT Photography Twitter Space “On Looking” together with Matthew Morrocco and Laurent Chevalier. Cover: Akosua Viktoria Adu-Sanyah, Source Behind Behold the Ocean, 2022
March 26, 2022