“Uncommitted” photography 0

Tomas Pabedinskas
www.kamane.lt, 2014-09-29

In brief: The autumn part of art photography festival Kaunas Photo rallied a big crowd of enthusiasts and professionals of photography to exhibition halls.

The festival organised in Kaunas corresponds to all features typical of contemporary photography festivals: it attracted attention of visitors by its large scale (three exhibitions at Kaunas M. Žilinskas Art Gallery, two expositions organised in the open-air in public city spaces), events creating festive mood (opening events of exhibitions, meetings with authors, nights of photography) and discussions and lectures of professionals for the audience interested in photography deeper. The programme was replenished by the exhibition organised by the partner of the festival, Kaunas Photography Gallery in the gallery Meno Parkas.

The festival organizers, who have earned attention of admirers of photography and who have expanded their audience in ten years of existence of Kaunas Photo, strive to create festival not only to the audience but to photographers themselves.

Opening of the exhibition “Days and Nights of Museums”

More and more professionalism appears in the festival, and photography presented in the autumn programme is of really high quality. The majority of authors participating in exhibitions develop their chosen themes coherently from the stylistic and conceptual point of view. Moreover, works displayed in the festival represent the tendencies that prevail on the international stage of photography today.

The works of Kaunas Photo participants do not lack critical relation with social and political reality, which is expressed by refined and sometimes frank irony in works. A number of participants of the exhibition “Generation of 1974” explore their close surroundings by such look: from Ukraine (Kirill Golovchenko) to England (Simon Roberts), from Poland (Przemysław Pokrycky) to Finland (Pekka Niittyvirta).

Signs of quality and maturity may be easily noticed in works of photographers as well as the exhibiting culture. Large-scale works of high technical quality show that Kaunas Photo festival orients to the international context of contemporary photography.

However, the “favour of the audience” and “security” within the scope of established international tendencies of photography seems to have its price. The irony prevailing in the festival exhibitions is easily understandable to the wide circle of viewers and at the same time it determines the stylistic monotony of exhibitions. Irreproachable technical performance does not leave space for discoveries in other fields of photography, for instance, for actualisation of documentary and amateur photography archives. The scope of themes analysed in Kaunas Photo exhibitions could also expand.


Photos by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas

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