Workshops and Residency 2018
1. Jason Fulford - Visual Language: How Pictures Speak to Each Other
“Everywhere there is a grammatical mysticism. Grammar. It is not only the human being that speaks—the universe also speaks—everything speaks—unending languages.” —Novalis
The single photograph, despite its specificity, remains ambiguous. The image is always relative to something else—another image, the mode of presentation, text or the viewers own mood and memory. For this reason, context is an important tool for the photographer. Context can be used either to play on the photograph’s inherent ambiguity, or to clarify the photographer’s message. In this hands-on workshop, we will discuss and experiment with visual language, editing and sequencing.
In addition to ambiguity, I will throw in some of my favorite themes, including chance, truth, contradictions, humour and absurdity.
The week will consist of rigorous physical and mental exercises, games and lectures. The group will work fast and loose. What will the results be? It’s up to you to decide. If all goes according to plan, everyone will leave the workshop with a new set of tools for thinking about and working with images.
Participants are asked to bring at least 25 pictures from a personal body of work, and 25 found pictures (not taken by the participant). Participants should also have an open mind, and should not expect a traditional teaching environment. More specific instructions will follow.
Jason Fulford is a photographer and co-founder of J&L Books. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, a frequent lecturer at universities, and has led workshops across the United States, in Japan, Italy, Poland, The Netherlands, Germany and Spain. His monographs include Sunbird (2000), Crushed (2003), Raising Frogs for $$$ (2006), The Mushroom Collector (2010), Hotel Oracle (2013), and Contains: 3 Books (2016). He is co-author with Tamara Shopsin of the photobook for children, This Equals That (2014), and co-editor with Gregory Halpern of The Photographer’s Playbook (2014).
Fulford’s photographs have been described as open metaphors. As an editor and an author, a focus of his work has been on the subject of how meaning is generated through association.
2. Lisa Barnard - Archive Fever
“It is to have a compulsive, repetitive, and nostalgic desire for the archive, an irrepressible desire to return to the origin, a homesickness, a nostalgia for return to the most archaic place of absolute commencement” - Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression is the title of a published lecture by Jacques Derrida (June 1994).
In the ceaseless work to maintain one memory at the expense of another, the archive not only maintains and curates memory, but buries it as well. As photographers we produce, collate and manipulate environments to present ideas that reflect our age, gender, race and political leanings. Each visual outcome mediates between the outside world and us.
Taking as a starting point the history of Kuldīga and the surrounding area you will be invited to research in advance a photographic project inspired by your own motivations and the history/past of the region. We will investigate local archival material from the area, including collections at the Museum of Kuldīga, local newspaper, family albums, antique shops and photographs of the area. You may also consider the inclusion of your own photographic material such as portraits and local landscapes.
Besides gaining an understanding of the complexity of working with different archival materials, we will reflect on the relevance of archives, objects and collections in creating a photographic project and our individual motivations for bringing into the light that which remains hidden. Where does the boundary between fact and fiction, truth and evidence lie and how relevant is this to contemporary documentary photography in a ‘post truth’ environment?
The workshop will begin with an overview of artists that work with archives in different ways and gaining an understanding of some critical thinking behind photographic projects influenced by archives. We will spend the remaining time reflecting and creating, using locally sourced materials culminating in innovative and contemporary projects that will be exhibited at the end of the week.
Technical and prior requirements
You will need a high quality digital camera, flash, tripod, memory cards, a notebook and a laptop. Scanners are available to us throughout the week, as are printers. Most importantly you will need to bring with you a clear initial idea for a project that can be undertaken in a short period of time that engages with archives.
“Barnard describes herself as a photographic artist, but her work seems unapologetically political. She pays homage to, and undercuts, the tropes of documentary realism” - Sean O Hagan, Guardian.
Barnard's photographic practice is placed in the genre of documentary. Her work discusses real events, embracing complex and innovative visual strategies that utilise traditional documentary techniques with more contemporary and conceptually rigorous forms of representation. Barnard connects her interest in aesthetics, current photographic debates around materiality and the existing political climate. Of particular interest to her is Global Capitalism, the relationship between the military industrial complex, screen based new technologies and the psychological implication of conflict. Barnard is senior lecturer and Programme leader on the MA Documentary Photography at The University of South Wales. She has two publications with GOST, “Chateau Despair” and “Hyenas of the Battlefield, Machines in the Garden”, nominated for the Prix Du Livre at Rencontres D’Arles in 2015. In 2015 Barnard was awarded the Prestige Grant from Getty Images to produce her latest work “The Canary and the Hammer” which is to be published later this year.
3. Salvatore Vitale & Sarker Protick - The Narrative Impulse
“Word, image, and sound all must have primacy in the development of the narrative.” – Fred Ritchin
The workshop is open to photographers and artists interested in exploring the varied possibilities of storytelling and the use of photography combined with other media. In the era of so-called democratization of the media and the overabundance of visual content, it’s important to reflect on the necessity and strategy of telling a certain story. Each story presents different possibilities of language and narrative suggested both by its context and the author’s influences.
The participants will be invited to explore, research, produce and present a narrative using the environment and resources available at the campus or surrounding territories. Drawing inspiration from the different backgrounds and approaches of the workshop tutors, the participants will be encouraged to start from their intuition and arrive at a structure through research and the production process. Together, we will discuss the choice of best possible methodologies, strategies and tools to define the chosen subject and articulate a coherent narrative. The possibilities are many and include working with sound, text, archive, etc.
The works produced during the workshop will be presented as part of the final exhibition. Along with the photographic material, the form of installation will be treated as a key part of the process.
Prior and technical requirements: The participants are encouraged to conduct research and propose their desired subject matter before the workshop starts. You should bring cameras and all the gear you usually use to shoot, a laptop and HDD, and, possibly, sound recorder device. Please also bring prints from your portfolio.
Salvatore Vitale (b. 1986, Italy) is a Swiss-based photographer and editor born and raised in Palermo, Italy. In 2014 he attended the International Center of Photography. In 2015-2016 he was a recipient of the Swiss Arts Council grant for his long-term research on the production of security in Switzerland. In 2017 he was awarded the PHMuseum Award. His work has been shown in museums and photo festivals including Photoforum Pasquart, OCAT Shanghai, T3 Photo Festival Tokyo, Jaipur International Photography Festival, etc.
He is also the co-founder and editor-in-chief of YET magazine, a Swiss-based international photography magazine that focuses on the evolution of photography practice within the contemporary art field. Vitale is a member of the academy of nominators for The Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. He has judged for ShowOFF – Krakow Photomonth and UNSEEN Grolsch Residency to name a few.
Salvatore runs workshops and gives lectures internationally, presenting the analysis of some of the most compelling contemporary photography issues.
Sarker Protick (b. 1986, Bangladesh) makes work that explores the possibilities of time, light and sound. His portraits, landscapes and photographic series engage philosophically with the specificities of personal and national histories. Protick’s use of light as protagonist creates a truth that is more emotional than factual. His approach incorporates detail observations and subtle gestures to enter into the personal spaces, often minimal and atmospheric.
He was named in British Journal of Photography’s annual ‘Ones to Watch’ and PDN’s 30 emerging photographers of the year. Protick is the recipient of Joop Swart Masterclass, World Press Photo award, Australian Photobook of the Year grand prize. His work has been shown in museums, galleries and photo festivals including, Art Dubai, Paris Photo, Singapore Art Week, Dhaka Art Summit, Latvian Contemporary Museum of Photography, Chobi Mela International Photography Festival, Noor der licht etc. Protick is a faculty member at Pathshala–South Asian Media Institute and currently represented by East Wing Gallery.
4. Yumi Goto & Jan Rosseel - Photobook as Object
The workshop will focus on understanding the process of storytelling with a personal vision – exploring ways to incorporate your personal experience and voice into your work. We will work on the editing process, conceptualizing ideas and presentation, and the physical process of creating a photobook or publication.
We will explore the process of generating ideas and refining concepts in the pursuit of presenting a successful photographic series in printed form. Through individual and group discussions and critique, the students will examine the strengths of their ideas and intentions, develop skills to better conceptualise coherent projects as well as materialise the potential of their ideas as a publication.
The students will arrive with one (or more ideas) they'd like to work on. The first days will be spent examining and deconstructing those ideas, editing, deciding which ideas are viable and which are not. The second part of the workshop will focus on layout, material and the final presentation in the form of a book or a publication.
Constructive criticism, honesty and fairness towards each other will be the keys to a successful group process. The participants should expect to take long days if needed, push their boundaries and explore new ways of storytelling, to share their ideas and knowledge and be inspired by their peers. Experimentation and openness is encouraged.
The outcome of the workshop will be a photobook dummy as well as new reflective tools and ideas to continue working on current and future projects.
Requirements: The participants should bring their laptop, preferably with Indesign installed. Basic Indesign skills are recommended. You should also bring basic tools such as needle and thread and a selection of the images you would like to use.
Yumi Goto is an independent photography curator, editor, researcher, consultant, educator and publisher who focuses on the development of cultural exchanges that transcend borders. She collaborates with local and international artists who live and work in areas affected by conflict, natural disasters, current social problems, human rights abuses and women’s issues. She often works with human rights advocates, international and local NGOs, humanitarian organizations and as well as being involved as a nominator and juror for the international photographic organizations, festivals and events. Yumi is based in Tokyo and is a co-funder and curator for the Reminders Photography Stronghold, a curated membership gallery space in Tokyo enabling a wide range of photographic activities.
Jan Rosseel (Brussels, 1979) studied documentary photography at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague, The Netherlands and photojournalism at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in Aarhus, Denmark. He was a research fellow at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies (NIAS) as the first artist in residence. His main focus in his research is on the notion of history and the visual representation of historical events in relation to the transience of memory, both personal and collective. His work is best described as visual storytelling, between narration and documentation. He works as a collector of memories using photography, video and objects. He acts as an investigator using methods of scientific research and journalism to build a narrative where truth and fiction coexist.
Jan is also a lecturer of photography and photobook making, with a focus on hand made photobooks. Along with Yumi Goto he has created the Photobook as Object workshop in Tokyo. He has been giving photobook workshops in Tokyo, Rome, Oslo, Amsterdam, Luxemburg, Ioannina and Ankara.
5. Natasha Christia - Curating Photography: a Laboratory of Ideas, Projects and Practices
This workshop is addressed to photography or lens-based media curators - whether independent or working for an institution, or just starting out in their curatorial practice.
When thinking about exhibiting photography in the context of institutions, festivals and education programmes, many questions arise: For whom do we curate photography exhibitions? What is our role as producers/curators of content? How do we unfold a story / concept / question on the wall and in space? How do we integrate authorial photography works into contemporary inter-media narratives without violating their material and conceptual essence?
Our program will encompass these and other questions from theory to practice: from the conceptual genesis and interplay of ideas to synergies and follow-up with participating artists; from budgets to fieldwork to production. We will also draw particular emphasis on what happens after the installation and the opening, on how the content can be activated from a mere wall display to a meaningful interaction with the audience through actions and educational programs.
In our discussions, the photography exhibition will be regarded as a space of possibilities that encourages the activation of its content beyond the closed photographic community, and curating as a conceptual practice that embraces global interdisciplinary processes and codes. We will acknowledge the crucial role of the curator as a mediator between the institutional, the private and the public, a storyteller, and beyond all, a professional with a solid ethical stand regarding the intentionality of projects and their contributors.
Through lectures, group discussions and an analysis of the curatorial case studies brought in by the participants, the laboratory will result in the development of individual curatorial proposals (submitted initially or developed on-site). The participants will also gain hands-on experience and connect with the other ISSP workshops by helping them conceptualise and install the ISSP final exhibition, as well as by consulting the ISSP Residents on the best ways to develop their projects towards an exhibition form.
Prior requirements The participants will be selected based on applications - bio, resume of projects and a curatorial project proposal/idea. Starting several months before the event, in May-June, they will be invited to conduct some preparatory reading and to work on an initial sketch of ideas, as well as to familiarise themselves with the other ISSP workshops and the work of the participants of the ISSP Residency. You will need a laptop and basic knowledge of one of the following layout programs: Photoshop/Illustrator/Mural/Sketch Up.
Natasha Christia is a freelance curator, writer and educator based in Barcelona. She is also a collection consultant and a dealer specialized in fine art photography and photobooks. Her research focuses on the exploration and reinvention of dominant narratives through a novel reading of archival collections, the intersection of photography, film and the photobook, and the dialogue between 20th century avant-garde photography and contemporary forms of expression often labelled as post-photography. Natasha was the artistic director of the fourth edition of DocField Documentary Photography Festival 2016, which was launched under the theme “Europe: Lost in Translation”. She has curated “What’s This Book? Photobooks and Multiples” (Belgrade Photo Month/ April 2016. Organ Vida Festival, Zagreb / September 2016), “Uncensored Books”, a photobook-based curatorial project (Belgrade Photomonth/April 2017, Minimum Studio/Palermo-June 2017), “AMORE: An Unfinished Trilogy by Valentina Abenavoli” (Void / Athens Photo Festival, June 2017) and “Reversiones” (Reversioned books by Brad Feuerhelm, Melinda Gibson, Vincent Delbrouck, Lewis Bush) (Centro de la Imagen, Mexico DF running until March 2018).
6. ISSP Residency
A new component of the ISSP programme, the ISSP Residency offers up to 12 participating artists and photographers the opportunity to concentrate on conceptualising, developing and steering their on-going work to completion, benefiting from individual editorial and curatorial consultations and a multitude of other resources available at the ISSP campus.
During the 8 days of the programme, The Residents will be housed on campus together with all the other ISSP participants. They will work individually and will have multiple opportunities to rethink and further develop their work following a self-determined schedule, using any of the following options open to them (the list is non-exhaustive):
- gaining input and feedback by taking part in the ISSP portfolio reviews;
- taking part in group and/or individual consultations with ISSP Special Guests (see below);
- taking part in individual consultations or working one-on-one with the curators – participants of the Curating Photography Lab, in order to arrive at an exhibition concept for the project.
- presenting their work as part of ISSP evening presentations and artist talks;
- exhibiting their work as part of the ISSP Final exhibition.
In addition, we expect the Residents to receive plenty of feedback on their work through informal contact with other participants, mentors and guests.
The Residents will share a working space and have full access to the services of ISSP Digital lab.
The participants should have a photographic project in an advanced state, which they wish to develop or complete. They must be willing to work individually as well as together with a curator, and above all, to experiment and receive a diverse range of input on their work. Practically, we suggest to bring the latest edit of the project (both in prints and high-resolution files), a draft artist statement, as well as other media inputs as relevant.
ISSP Special Guests, who will be available for consultations:
Federico Clavarino - photographer and educator based in Madrid and Lisbon. After studying literature and creative writing in Italy, he moved to Madrid where he studied photography at BlankPaper School and later joined its teaching faculty. His first short essay, La Vertigine, was published in 2010. He has since published 3 books - Ukraina Pasport, Italia o Italia (Akina books, 2014), and The Castle (Dalpine, 2016). His latest project, Hereafter, received the La Caixa Foundation Fotopres grant in 2014 and will be published shortly in the book form. He is teaching photography workshops in Portugal and internationally.
Nico Baumgarten - photographer, bookbinder, curator and educator based in Berlin. He has studied photography at the IDEP in Barcelona and bookbinding at the CFP Bauer in Milan. Nico has self-published five books: Berlusconians / No Berlusconians (2011), Leer (2013), “ma almeno ci sei tu amore mio" (2013), Die wachsamen Augen der Angela M. (2014) and How the other half lives (2015). Most of his titles are hand bound, self- designed and self-distributed. Nico has taught photography and bookmaking workshops in Berlin, Riga, Caracas, Rio de Janeiro, Istanbul, Amsterdam and Paris. Currently he is curators for one of the main exhibitions of The Triennial of Photography Hamburg.
Nicolas Polli - photographer and graphic designer based in Lausanne, Switzerland. A co-founder and Art Director of YET magazine since 2012, a magazine about photography and recognized internationally. In 2016 he won the prize HES-SO for his project Ferox the Forgotten Archives. The book was selected as finalist for the Festival Images Dummy award, Luma Foundation Dummy Awards and Unseen Dummy Awards in 2017. Polli works both as photographer and graphic designer and he is currently focusing on photobooks design for editions like Patrick Frey, SPBH, Skinnerboox, Overlapse, Festival Vevey Images, and others. He is also Assisting teacher in the MA Photography at ECAL in Lausanne.