Photographer (S. Africa)
Ballen is one of the most important photographers of his generation. He was born in New York in 1950 but for over 30 years he has lived and worked in South Africa. His work as a geologist took him out into the countryside and led him to take up his camera and explore the hidden world of small South African towns. At first he explored the empty streets in the glare of the midday sun but, once he had made the step of knocking on people’s doors, he discovered a world inside these houses which was to have a profound effect on his work. These interiors with their distinctive collections of objects and the occupants within these closed worlds took his unique vision on a path from social critique to the creation of metaphors for the inner mind. After 1994 he no longer looked to the countryside for his subject matter finding it closer to home in Johannesburg.
Over the past thirty years his distinctive style of photography has evolved using a simple square format in stark and beautiful black and white. In the earlier works in the exhibition his connection to the tradition of documentary photography is clear but through the 1990s he developed a style he describes as ‘documentary fiction’. After 2000 the people he first discovered and documented living on the margins of South African society increasingly became a cast of actors working with Ballen in the series’ Outland and Shadow Chamber collaborating to create disturbing psychodramas.
The line between fantasy and reality in his more recent series’ Boarding House and Asylum of the Birds (published in the Spring of 2014 by Thames and Hudson) has become increasingly blurred and in these series he has employed drawings, painting, collage and sculptural techniques to create elaborate sets. People are now often absent altogether; replaced by photographs of people used as props, by doll or dummy parts or where they do appear it’s as disembodied hands, feet and mouths poking disturbingly through walls and pieces of rag. The often improvised scenarios are completed by the unpredictable behaviour of the animals which appear snapped in an instant of observation. Ballen has invented a new hybrid aesthetic in these works but one still rooted firmly in photography.
Curator, Estudio Madalena / Paraty Em Foco (Brazil)
Claudi Carreras Guillén is an indepent curator and editor, and a photography researcher at the University of Barcelona’s Department of Design and Image. In 2007 he published the book Conversaciones con fotógrafos mexicanos (Conversations with Mexican Photographers) for Gustavo Gili, Barcelona. He is also the author of the series “Autoretrato de America Latina” (“Latin American Self Portrait”), published in 2006 and 2007, in the magazine of Barcelona’s newspaper La Vanguardia.
Carreras-Guillén has curated numerous exhibitions: Cuba mía, Front3ra, Transnacional(es) and Estaciones, and most recently, Laberinto de miradas (Labyrinth of Gazes), a survey of documentary photography in Ibero-America, supported by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation and Development – AECID and Casa Amèrica Catalunya, which has been exhibited in 29 different cities in Latin America and Spain. In 2009 he curated Resiliencia (Resilience), sponsored by the Instituto Cervantes, and was awarded the “Premio del Público M2 El Mundo” for best PHotoEspaña exhibit of 2009. Resilience was shown in Madrid, Chicago, New York, New Delhi, Rome, Istanbul, Tetouan and Tangier.
Carreras was Director for the First Meeting of Latin American Photographic Collectives in Sao Paulo in 2008, and is also Director of E·CO, supported by the Ministry of Culture of Spain. This exhibition brought about a Conference of European and Latin American Photography Collectives. After having been shown in Spain and Brazil in 2011, the exhibition is now traveling to several U.S. cities, including Washington, DC and Chicago. Now are preparing the new edition of E.CO in São Paulo, Brazil.
Presently was exhibitions’ curator on 8th and 9th edition of Paraty em Foco Festival (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Advisor and curator for the upcoming Latin American Photography Forum of Sao Paulo in 2013. Curator for Latin America in the last edition of the biennial Photoquai in 2013 (Musée du Quai Branly, Paris) and curator / editor review project LatinUs Photo Latino USA made for Spain USA Foundation in collaboration with the National Portrait U.S. and Smithsonian Latino. He is nominator for Latin America in World Press Photo Master Class.
Since the beginning of 2012 resides in Brazil coordinating the management of new projects in Madalena Studio, São Paulo, Brazil and many countries in Latin America.
JJ Estrada & Clara de Tezanos
Directors, GuatePhoto Festival (Guatemala)
JJ has played an important role in the promotion of contemporary photography in Latin America along with Clara de Tezanos, as a co-founder and director of La Fototeca, a School and Center of Contemporary Photography in Guatemala, the GuatePhoto Festival and Fototropia Gallery; his artistic and curatorial participations include exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art Carlos Merida (Guatemala), NY Photo Festival (USA), ExpoFoto (Costa Rica) , Fototropia (Guatemala), Foto 30 (Guatemala), and Critical Mass (USA) amongst others.
Clara is co-founder and director of La Fototeca, Contemporary Photography Center, and GuatePhoto Festival. She has also participated in curatorial projects with La Fototeca in Photo Ville (NY), Pingyao International Photo (China), GuatePhoto 2010, 2012 and all the exhibitions taking place at Fototropía Gallery. She has participated in Photo Lucida, Critical Mass, Fotovisura Grant, Trastlántica PhotoEspaña as juror, also in Prix Pictet and First Book Award as nominator. Clara started her photographic career at an early age studying in Paris, France were she worked as an assistant. As a photographer, she has participated in various national and international collective exhibitions.
Photo Editor, Lens Blog, New York Times (USA)
James Estrin is a senior staff photographer for the New York Times He is also a founder of Lens, the Times’s photography blog, and co-edits it with David Gonzalez. Mr. Estrin has worked for the Times since 1987 and was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning team in 2001.
In addition to photographing, editing and writing, he produces audio and video for nytimes.com. Mr. Estrin is an adjunct professor at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism and also teaches at the School of Visual Arts Digital Photography Masters program. He attended Hampshire College and the graduate program at the International Center of Photography.
C/O Berlin (Germany)
Felix Hoffmann is an art historian and art theorist, and is currently Head Curator of the C/O Berlin Foundation. He is the initiator of C/O Berlin’s Talents program for young photographers and art critics, and has acted as curator of numerous international exhibitions including Nan Goldin, Robert Frank, Larry Clark, Robert Mapplethorpe or Peter Lindbergh and group shows like The Uncanny Familiar- Images of Terror. He has also published numerous texts.
Curator / Associate Professor, Department of Inter-Media Art, Faculty of Fine Art, Tokyo University of the Arts (Japan)
Shihoko Iida is curator based in Tokyo and Nagoya, Japan. Iida joined the Tokyo Opera City Cultural Foundation in 1998 for the inauguration of its Art Gallery (TOCAG) and worked as curator until August 2009. From October 2009 to July 2011, she worked as visiting curator in Australian Centre of Asia Pacific Art (ACAPA) in the Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane under a scholarship by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Japan. Following to that, Iida stayed in Seoul for four months as 2011 International Fellowship Researcher, hosted by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea.
After returning to Japan in 2012, she consecutively worked as official curator of Japan participation for ‘The 15th Asian Art Biennale Bangladesh 2012’, Co-curator for ‘Aichi Triennale 2013’ and Associate Curator for the first ‘Sapporo International Art Festival 2014’. Since October 2014, she has started working as Associate Professor of department of Inter-Media Art at Tokyo University of the Arts.
Her major projects and curated exhibitions other than above include; ‘Omnilogue: Journey to the West’ (a series of co-curatorial projects organised by The Japan Foundation) at Lalit Kala Akademi Gallery No.1&No.2, New Delhi in 2012; ‘Trace Elements: Spirit and Memory in Japanese and Australian Photomedia’ (co-curated with Bec Dean, Associate Director at Performance Space, Sydney) at TOCAG in 2008 and Performance Space in 2009; ‘Rapt! 20 contemporary artists from Japan’ (co-curated exhibition organised by The Japan Foundation) held across multiple cities in Australia in 2005-2006; and ‘Wolfgang Tillmans: Freischwimmer’ at TOCAG in 2004.
All the curated triennials/exhibitions above are accompanied by exhibition catalogues including her essay, or publications.
RongRong & inri
Co-Founders, Three Shadow Photography Center (China & Japan)
RongRong (China) and inri (Japan) have been working together since 2000. Their works reflect the intimate world that they have created together, while pushing the boundaries of traditional black-and-white darkroom techniques. Their past critically acclaimed series of works, such as Mt. Fuji, In Nature, and Liulitun, focus on the beauty of the human body in nature and the urban environment.
In 2007, RongRong and inri established the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre in the Caochangdi art district of Beijing, the premier platform for international communication. They also started the annual Three Shadows Photography Award to discover and encourage China’s most promising photographers. RongRong and inri’s recent work brings attention to the beauty and value of new beginnings in their shared life and surroundings, especially amidst a rapidly changing world.
Associate curator, Noorderlicht Foundation (The Netherlands)
Based in The Hague, Hester Keijser (1967, NL) is a freelance curator and author specialized in contemporary photography. She frequently collaborates with other international organisations in the field of photography on exhibitions, presentations, lectures, workshops and portfolio reviews.
She is currently serving as curatorial advisor of the Arab Documentary Photography Program, and is engaged as associate curator of the Noorderlicht Foundation in the Netherland.
Senior Photo Editor, National Geographic Magazine (USA)
Sarah Leen is a senior photo editor for National Geographic magazine. Leen made the leap into photo editing in 2005 after a 27-year career as a freelance photographer, contributing regularly for the magazine. During her 1979 college internship at the magazine she produced her first published story, “Return to Uganda.”
In 1979, as a student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Leen received the College Photographer of the Year award. She went on to work as a staff photographer for the Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal and the Philadelphia Inquirer, where she received a Robert F. Kennedy Award honorable mention for a photo documentary on Alzheimer’s disease.
As a photographer for the National Geographic Society, Leen’s published assignments have ranged from the U.S.-Canada border and the Kamchatka peninsula in Siberia to the Mexican volcano Popocatepetl and urban sprawl in the United States. A book of her work, American Back Roads, was published by National Geographic in 2000.
Leen’s photographs also have been included in the Day in the Life series of books, as well as Women of the Material World, The Power to Heal, A Passage to Vietnam, National Geographic: The Photographs, and Women Photographers at National Geographic.
Leen teaches photography at the Missouri Photo Workshop, the Maine Photographic Workshops, and the Palm Beach Photographic Centre. She and her husband, Bill Marr, live along the Chesapeake Bay with their cats and assorted koi.
Curator, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (Japan)
Rei MASUDA / Curator of Photography, The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo Born in 1968. Works at The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo since 1992. Curated exhibitions in recent years include “Yutaka Takanashi:
Field Notes of Light”(2009), “Suzuki Kiyoshi: Hundred Steps and Thousand Stories” (2010),”Josef Koudelka Retrospective” (2013).
Head, Market Photo Workshop (S. Africa)
John Fleetwood is the Head of the Market Photo Workshop, convener for the Joburg Photo Umbrella and independent curator, living and working in Johannesburg.
Fleetwood is the co-curator for A Return to Elsewhere (Lathigra/Sekgala) (Brighton & Johannesburg, 2014) looking at the construction of communities and photography’s factual and fictive modes. He is co-curator for Transition – a collaboration between South African and French photographers about South African land and the role that photography continues to play in the representation and re-imagining of land (Johannesburg, 2012 & Rencontres d’Arles, 2013) & curator for Photoquai 2013: Africa (Paris, 2013).
Fleetwood’s key interests are in the developing mode of documentary photography and the possibilities for photography within the aesthetics of advocacy.
Communications Director, La Fábrica (Spain)
He has a degree in History of Art from the University of Valladolid and a Masters Degree in Cultural Heritage Management at the Complutense University in Madrid. In 2000 he joined the projects area at La Fábrica to work on the design of the inaugural cycle of activities for La Casa Encendida. Later he joined the team for PHotoEspaña (International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts) and he was appointed General Coordinator of the Festival, a position which he held for two years.
In 2004 he was given the role of Communications Director for La Fábrica. As the head of this department he is responsible for the diffusion and promotion of La Fábrica projects, and also for company public relations and international communications.
He is also the Director of the Projects and Digital area, which focuses on consultancy and the development of projects for public institutions such as the Ministry of Culture, Education and Sports, AECID, AC/E, Madrid, Burgos, Segovia and Getafe City Councils, Málaga and Granada Council Offices; and brands such as the Mutua Madrileña Foundation, the Loewe Foundation, the Biodiversity Foundation, the Telefonica Foundation, the Santillana Foundation, and brands such as Sony, Acciona, Camper, Absolut Vodka, Nespresso, Bankia, BMW and Johnnie Walker, among others.
Since 2014, he has been the General Manager of La Fábrica and head of the publishing team which has produced over 50 publications per year devoted to photography, art, literature, ideas and creation, and is distributed worldwide. This has included outstanding quality co-publications in partnerships with art institutions from around the world.
La Fábrica also publishes prestige magazines such as Matador, a large format annual magazine that delves into the most up to date culture, ideas and tendencies. This is a generational publication (there will only be 28 issues) dealing with a different subject each year; OjodePez, which is a documentary photography magazine that has an invited co-editor for each issue; and Eñe, a Spanish language literature magazine that every three months includes previously unpublished tales and texts by Spanish, Latin American and international authors.
Of note among its collections are PHotoBolsillo, which brings together the most important names in contemporary Spanish, Latin American and African photography, with quality, small format printing.
He is also the editor of the digital projects Notodo.com, Notodohoteles.com and the short feature film festival jamesonnotodofilmfest.com, of which he is the director.
Peggy Sue Amison
Artistic Director, West Wing Gallery (Dubai, UAE)
Peggy Sue Amison is the Artistic Director of East Wing, in Dubai, UAE. As a curator, writer, producer and photographic consultant, Peggy Sue also collaborates with numerous emerging and established photographers, festivals and publications internationally. Peggy Sue is also a Board Member for the Belfast Photography Festival in Northern Ireland (2012 to present).
Working extensively in visual arts, but specifically in photography, Peggy has curated exhibitions in Ireland, Berlin, Poland and China and written for various photographic publications and artist catalogues. She has also independently produced photographic events and been a consultant for PICTURE BERLIN, a hybrid artist in residency / art academy programme in Germany (2009 – to present).
Peggy Sue is a member of the Oracle Conference of International Curators and has been an invited speaker, juror and critic at numerous meeting places for photography around the world. Mentoring a number of long-term photographic projects involving different artists, Peggy Sue has made important contributions to the development of new and innovative work.
Founder & Director, Head On Photo Festival (Australia)
Moshe Rosenzveig is the founder and director of Head On Photo Festival, Australia’s leading annual photography festival, showcasing the work of international and local photographers.
Moshe’s career spans over 30 years as a photojournalist, commercial photographer, educator and an award winning television producer/director whose work has been screened, published and exhibited in Australia and overseas