This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – street photographer Alan Schaller’s show Metropolis opens at the Leica Melbourne Gallery, and Riga Photomonth kicks off in Latvia. Also, PHOTO2020, the new international photography festival to be held in Melbourne next year is calling for applications for its outdoor program, closing 31 May.
Alan Schaller – Metropolis
Melbourne street photography lovers are in for a treat with this exhibition. There are some amazing street photographers and then there’s Alan Schaller! His black and white works are epic. He’s also the cofounder of Street Photography International Collective, and is a fine writer.
Leica Gallery Melbourne – Level 1, 260 Collins Street, until end July
Riga Photomonth 2019
This year’s theme for the annual Riga Photomonth is “Eating Pineapples on the Moon” an idea “inspired by a student essay from 1960, written in in one of Kuibishev’s elementary schools in Soviet Russia, in which she describes her idealized and utopian vision of communism in 1981.” Using utopia as a springboard, artists were invited to present work that addressed how the utopian ideals of the past have “not brought any new common understanding of the meaning of life.” It’s a curious theme that has culminated in a program of 11 exhibitions that are as diverse as the topic. Here are my picks.
Maria Kapajeva – Dream is Wonderful, Yet Unclear
Estonian photographer Maria Kapajeva’s exhibition “depicts a mill filled by powerful rhythms of looms and lively collectives of women workers that, in today’s competitive world seems like a bright and distant dream.” It is a very personal body of work; Kapajeva’s mother worked at the now disused mill and she spent time there as a child. Through an exploration of personal and collective memories Kapajeva’s tells a compelling story of the tension between dreams and reality. You may recall Kapajeva’s previous work Interiors has also been featured on Photojournalism Now.
Andreas Meichsner – War and Peace
German photographer Andreas Meichsner considers society’s need for “safety, structure and discipline” in this series that questions why in a supposed era of freedom we are drawn to structures and borders.
Jari Silomäki – We Are the Revolution, after Joseph Beuys
Finnish artist Jari Silomäki’s series features self portraits taken around the world at key historical locations of conflict and persecution such as Auschwitz and Tiananmen Square. Silomäki says his intention in this body of work was to use the life-size image We Are the Revolution by German artist Joseph Beuys (1972) as the catalyst for a visual exploration that questions the “relation between individuals and large entities such as war, statistics, and centuries of history.”
Riga Photomonth until 30 June various venues