Copenhagen Photo Festival rewilds the city's urban spaces
Photo: Nanna Heitmann
This summer, photographs are literally blooming all over Copenhagen and southern Sweden, when the Nordic region's largest photography festival takes place for the 13th time. Inspired by the festival's location in the urban wilderness at Beddingen on Refshaleøen and Copenhagen's title as World Architecture Capital 2023, this year the festival has chosen one overall main theme – Rewilding – which the six solo artists each explore in the festival center on Refshaleøen. Copenhagen Photo Festival takes place on 1-11 June 2023.
FRAME and the surrounding exhibition park on Refshaleøen set the stage for the solo artists who have been selected as this year's headliners at the Copenhagen Photo Festival 2023. In the middle of the wilderness, the six exhibitions are presented, each in their own way engaging with rewilding in the broadest sense - from classic photography techniques , AI technology, 'rewilded' street photography and portrait photography with a green twist, critical environment narratives and documentary photos, where stories about identity, healing and belonging sprout in new ways.
Documentary photography with an eye for the environment and stories from the outskirts
This year's absolute headliner is Magnum photographer and World Press Photo winner Nanna Heitmann. In the exhibition 'Hiding from Baba Yaga' we meet people whose fateful backgrounds have led them to a life along the Yenisei River in Russia – far from the demands of big cities and crowds of people – in a common search for freedom and escape from a harsh reality. Daniel Hinks' solo exhibition 'The Sunshiners; Code Red in Green China' questions old habits and traditions when he focuses on the fishing industry in China and how the increasing amount of plastic and pollution in the oceans affects our way of life.
Healing queer communities and flower portraits
Kristina Knipe deals with intimacy, healing and community, and with her solo exhibition 'Talisman' she works with identity and mythology in the queer community in New Orleans, while Hilla Kurki explores the relationship between mothers and daughters in the exhibition 'Almost All the Flowers in my Mother's Garden, 2022' through 'portrait photographs' of flowers from her mother's garden. The photographs of flowers symbolize the care, or the lack of it, that shapes us as people through our upbringing (growth).
Street photos of birds and AI-created algae images
In 'The Bird Project, 2006-2017', the Swedish street artist placed cut-out birds on city walls around the world to then document the bird photographically. This summer, Berglin is coming to Copenhagen for the first time to rewild Copenhagen's city walls with new wild birds that festival guests can discover around the cityscape. Craig Ames' exhibition 'Photographs of British Algae – AI Impressions' is inspired by the world's first photo archive of algae, which he processes into a simulated algae archive based on AI technology.
The festival focuses on photography's growth layer
As part of the European platform FUTURES Photography, the travel exhibition 'On the Verge' will feature seven selected international FUTURES talents that each show their take on life on the edge – from the queer environment to coming to terms with Brexit. As part of this collaboration, the festival has again this year also appointed five new Scandinavian photo talents and is proud to be able to present Giulia Mangione, Jonas Tislevoll, Mikkel Hørlyck, Sofie Flinth and Susanne Fagerlund at this year's festival. Their talent can be experienced with a screening in the center of the festival.
In addition, the curatorial community ATLA Platform exhibits works by the four budding artists Einar Fulgem, Linnea Cramer and the duo Jasko Bobar and Sebastian Thorsted in the festival's venue FRAME. The exhibition is a result of ATLA's mentoring program IMPACT, which is supervised by artist Anna Clarén, artist Alex Avgud, artistic director at Landskrona Foto Jenny Nordquist, and curator and artist Behzad Farazollahi.
"We see it as one of our core values to support and strengthen the talents who will shape photography in the future and who will also help set the agenda. This also means that this year there will be exhibitions and activities from, among others, KBH Film & Photo School, VERA School for Art and Design, the photojournalism program at Denmark's School of Media and Journalism and at the Norwegian counterpart Oslo Met," says Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen, director of Copenhagen Photo Festival.
Copenhagen Photo Festival 2023 is provisionally supported by Copenhagen Municipality, the Obel Family Foundation, Creative Europe/Futures Photography Platform, Vesterbro Local Committee and Indre By Local Committee.
The festival's final program is continuously updated at https://copenhagenphotofestival.com/en/
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About Copenhagen Photo Festival
The 1-11 June 2023 will be the 13th time that the Nordics' largest photo festival will be held. The festival is held in close collaboration with galleries, museums and cultural institutions in Copenhagen and southern Sweden. Each year, established and budding Danish and foreign photographers contribute, and the festival is visited by approx. 40,000 people across its many venues. This year, the festival puts photography on the agenda under the theme 'Rewilding' via exhibitions, workshops, talks, portfolio reviews and social events.
Museums, galleries and art galleries invite you inside for this year's photo festival
This year, Copenhagen Photo Festival invites you to discover the world of photography across Greater Copenhagen and Southern Sweden, when galleries, museums and art galleries open their doors and invite you inside to a series of events, talks and exhibitions, all of which touch on art and documentary photography. The program includes institutions and art galleries such as Louisiana, the Royal Library, Fotografisk Center, M/S Maritime Museum of Denmark, Nordatlantens Brygge, Nikolaj Kunsthal, Martin Asbæk Gallery, Alice Folker Gallery, Skovhuset i Værløse and Galleri Format, among others. In addition to the many collaborations across the Copenhagen art and photography scene, this year the festival is also working together with the Art Week festival on various audience activities around the city.
Profiles of the six solo artists
Documentary photographer and visual artist Daniel Hinks is fascinated by the human condition. With his work, he wants to create understanding between cultures, race, religion and to build bridges between people. At Copenhagen Photo Festival, he presents the project 'The Sunshiners; Code Red in Green China'. In the exhibition, Hinks zooms in on the fishing industry in China and questions old habits and traditions by looking at how the increasing amount of plastic and pollution in the oceans affects our way of life.
Through photography, video and installations, American Kristina Knipe works with the themes of intimacy, healing and community. At the exhibition you can experience Knipe's focus on identities through mythology in the queer community in New Orleans. She works closely with those she photographs to convey their individual stories of healing and resting in their own identity. Her project 'Talisman' conveys through staged tableaux the healing process, the coming together with nature, the human-made and the body in its imperfections.
German, Moscow-based Magnum photographer Nanna Heitmann reports on current events around the world. In her work, she investigates how people react to and interact with their environment. In the exhibition 'Hiding from Baba Yaga' she portrays people who live along the Yenisei River in Russia and their living conditions. We meet people whose fateful backgrounds have led them to a life along the Yenisei River in Russia – far from the demands of big cities and crowds of people – in a common search for freedom and escape from a harsh reality. Heitmann is the winner of World Press Photo 2022 in the Stories category.
British artist Craig Ames is fascinated by artificial intelligence and the monumental advances we are currently witnessing in image processing via artificial intelligence – so-called AI. With inspiration from Anna Atkins' early photography, his project explores simulation, imaging and the network image through photography and artificial intelligence. In the project 'Photographs of British Algae - AI Impressions', the boundaries between the natural world and simulated hyperreality are blurred.
Erik Berglin's work ranges from interventions in public space, factual/fictional storytelling to appropriation of material found in old books or online. In 'The Bird Project, 2006-2017', he took as his starting point cut-out birds in natural sizes, which he placed on city walls around the world to document the birds himself photographically. In Copenhagen, he once again lets the birds loose in the city's urban space. Berglin has received two awards for this project: the Swedish Book Art Award 2020 and the Swedish Photo Book Price 2022.
Hilla Kurki's art is based on a personal subject and through her photographs it is made universal and relatable. Family relationships are a great source of inspiration for Kurki and they permeate her project 'Almost All the Flowers in my Mother's Garden, 2022', which is based on her mother's flower garden. Her mother thrives with taking care of the flowers in her garden and cultivates them as if they were her children. Kurki has therefore photographed her mother's flowers with a desire to explore the relationship between mothers and daughters. The photographs of flowers symbolize the care, or the lack of it, that shapes us as people through our upbringing (growth).