4. Fotofestival
September 10 – November 11, 2011

Friday, September 9, 2011,
7:00 p.m. Kunsthalle MannheimMannheim
Kunsthalle MannheimZEPHYR of the Reiss-Engelhorn-Museen
Kunstverein LudwigshafenWilhelm-Hack-Museum
Sammlung PrinzhornHeidelberger Kunstvereinhalle02/Kunsthalle

For the fourth time, from September 10–November 11, 2011 the three cities of Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg will host Germany’s most exceptional photography festival.

Entitled THE EYE IS A LONELY HUNTER: IMAGES OF HUMANKIND, the exhibition will include 56 artists from 32 countries, and is curated by Katerina Gregos (GR/BE) and Solvej Helweg Ovesen (DK/D). The 4. Fotofestival will focus on the new and critical ways photography transports anthropological knowledge and aims to be a photographic survey of the human condition as we enter the second decade of the 21st century, seen from a plurality of geographic angles, including Africa, the Americas, Europe and Asia. Using a variety of lens-based media, which reflect the expanded nature of contemporary photography, the artists’ works draw on the traditions of documentary, ethnographic and staged photography to critically reflect on the anthropological role of photography today, often taking as their point of departure a humanist perspective in the tradition of documentary photography. What would a portrait of humankind look like in 2011? What are some of the key issues and challenges facing humanity today and how are they represented? How can photography create empathy and evoke affect?

The title of the exhibition „The Eye is a Lonely Hunter” is inspired by Carson McCullers’ book “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” (USA, 1940), in which the mistreated, rejected, marginalised and forgotten in society are given voice. Many artists in the exhibition operate as interdisciplinary researchers, spending time to gain in-depth knowledge about the context they live or worked within, in a process of long-term engagement. Their work explores the most important issues currently affecting humanity, the human condition and human experience in the light of post-colonial discourse, globalisation, multi-culturalism, and geo-political, economic and environmental shifts. In doing so, it reflects a renewed ethical engagement with photography and the issue of humanism.

Participating artists: Bani Abidi, Mac Adams, Ravi Agarwal, Said Atabekov, Sven Augustijnen, Roger Ballen, Olaf Otto Becker, Sofia Burchardi & Plamen Bontchev, Marie José Burki, Edward Burtynsky, Peggy Buth, Marianna Castillo Deball, Philippe Chancel, Chen Chieh-Jen, Gohar Dashti, Fouad Elkoury, Köken Ergun, Hasan & Husain Essop, Simon Fujiwara, Peter Funch, Agnes Geoffray, Alexandros Georgiou, Francesco Giusti, Geert Goiris, Igor Grubic, Cao Guimarães, Jacob Holdt, Pieter Hugo, Nicu Ilfoveanu, Gulnara Kasmalieva & Muratbek Djumaliev, Rinko Kawauchi, Panos Kokkinias, Aglaia Konrad, Heta Kuchka, Florian Maier-Aichen, Ryan McGinley, Vincent Meessen, Barbara Metselaar Berthold, Boris Mikhailov, Boniface Mwangi, TorbjØrn RØdland, Kirstine Roepstorff, Bruno Serralongue, Jeremy Shaw, Taryn Simon, Johan Spanner, Beat Streuli, Fiona Tan, Guy Tillim, Clemens von Wedemeyer, Tris Vonna-Michell, Paolo Woods, Yang Yongliang, Tobias Zielony.

An extensive fringe programme (portfolio reviews, lectures, guided tours and artists’ talks) will accompany the exhibitions, including the award ceremony of the noted Cultural Prize of the Germany Association of Photography (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie / DGPh). The Cultural Prize 2011 will be awarded to Prof. Klaus Honnef on Oktober 8, 2011 at the Heidelberger Kunstverein.

Organiser: Fotofestival Mannheim_Ludwigshafen_Heidelberg e.V.
Established since 1993, the Fotofestival Mannheim_Ludwigshafen_Heidelberg e.V. has instigated an on-going dialogue on contemporary trends in photography. The three participating cities Mannheim, Ludwigshafen, Heidelberg are part of the festival executive board.

A 240-page colour catalogue designed by Studio Manuel Raeder and published by Kehrer Verlag will be produced to accompany the exhibition. It will include texts by the curators as well as TJ Demos.

For more information see:

Press contact:
Goldmann Public Relations München, Christa Stollenwerk
Bruderstrasse 5, 80538 Munich, Germany
phone: +49 (0)89-211 164-11 fax: +49 (0)89-211 164-29

[The above content has been sourced from:]

[featured photo courstesy of GRIMMUSEUM flickr account]

Ravi Agarwal