This week on Photojournalism Now: Friday Round Up – the first of a special two-part feature on the 16th edition of the Auckland Festival of Photography in New Zealand.
Auckland Festival of Photography – Part One: Fissure
“The notion of a divide or a chasm, no matter how narrow, has a tendency for negative connotations,” says guest curator Jessica Lim who has brought together a diverse group of artists from across Asia to address this year’s Festival theme: Fissure.
“I’ve looked at the gaps and spaces that concern us, both within and without, some real but mostly imaginary. I’ve done so with the understanding that light emanates from darkness, and the very same thing that can swallow you can also be the thing that you emerge from. In selecting the works I’ve looked at Southeast Asian visual artists with strong photographic backgrounds who have expanded their practice with an exploration of time-based works.”
And the Fissure exhibitions are…
Rob Gilhooly – Fukushima Dolls
UK freelance photographer Rob Gilhooly has a deep affinity with Japan where he currently resides. I remember his intensely emotional body of work Suicide Forest which was part of the Festival a few years back. 2019 features his series Fukushima Dolls which is equally evocative.
In the small town of Naraha, residents have created life sized dolls to replace those people who relocated following the 2011 earthquake. The exodus has subsequently turned Naraha into a ghost town. The series conveys a compelling narrative about loneliness, longing and absence. It also reveals a quirky sense of humour found in the ingenuity of a people under emotional pressure.
Queens Wharf Fence 25 May to 21 June
Alejandro Cegarra – Living with Hugo Chavez Legacy
Documenting the decline and chaos in Venezuela after the death of its long time leader, Cegarra paints a bleak picture of a country that is plagued by death in all its incarnations.
Cegarra will also take part in the Talking Culture panel discussion on Saturday 1 June at 2pm. Auckland Central Library 31 May to 2 June
Sim Chi Yin – Most People Were Silent
Singapore-based visual artist Sim Chi Yin says, “My work focuses on histories and memories in land and peoples, through a research-based practice and photographic and filmic installations of landscapes — human and non-human — with unseen, unspoken pasts.” These ideas are explored in this two-channel video installation.
Silo Park 30 May to 16 June
Nuit de la photo
Artists Aline Henchoz (Switzerland), Guillaume Bression (France), Carlos Ayesta (Venezuela) and Neringa Rekasiute (Lithuania) come together as Nuit de la photo to present images from four bodies of work that draw on documentary and staged practices. The works deal with themes of identity, natural and human-made environments and these intertwined relationships.
Whare Wānanga 31 May to 2 June
Su Jie Has – The storm in the morning
This autobiographical film by Chinese artist Su Jie Has combines digital and real-world environs to imagine a multidimensional narrative that explores ideas of belonging and how personal memories can influence perspective.
Silo 6 30 May to 16 June
Photographer Mark Purdom, Videographer Paul Nelson and Sound Engineer Kent Macpherson collaborate on an audio-visual work that “pays homage to the majesty of the active volcano. (It is) a study of the physicality and brutality of the place by examining the tiniest of parts.”
Whakaari/White Island Studio 541 31 May to 8 June
Sohrab Hura – The lost head and the bird
Indian photographer Sohrab Hura describes this series as “explor(ing) a frighteningly fast-changing, post-truth world where actions are fuelled by appeals to emotions and facts are increasingly ignored.”
Silo Park 30 May to 6 June
13JARA Collective – They found light where the maze finds its way out
This is a short film by the13JARA Collective from India. (Sorry, no photos folks).
To find out more visit the Festival website. Next week we’ll explore other exhibitions in the 2019 program including Shahidul Alam’s Embracing the Other.