Opens the first edition of the Miami Photo Fest, the annual festival of photography hosted in the Moore Building, among the elastic walls of Zaha Hadid, confirming the fact that the Design District has become an artistic area of excellence in the varied panorama of Miami, between fairs , museums, galleries and luxury shopping.
The Miami Photo Fest, organized by Fuji Film, MIA (Miami International Airport) and Design District is spread over the four floors of The Moore and provides a rich calendar of events including workshops, exhibitions, meeting with artists, portfolio reviews, and much more, which are dissolved over five days, from February 27 to March 03, 2019.
Yes, because photography, recognized for all purposes by museums and institutions as visual art, has been able to change its mimesis from a mere image that immortalizes a prolific moment to a social language on which to discuss, and it is with these premises that the exhibition opens.
Entering The Moore, the street-photographer and member of the Magnum Photo, Bruce Gilden occupies the entire first floor of the building and captures the eyes with his powerful and unequivocal images that portray the characters in the foreground photographed with the flash pointed in the face. Fascinated by street people and by the idea of visual spontaneity, Bruce Gilden’s works are divided into two sections: Only God Can Judge Me, made in Overtown Miami on the right and Farm Boy and Farm Girl on the left. Powerful images and bright colors, alive; stories of lived lives, mixed with violence and drugs that do not need the human judgment to pull the strings, but also stories of life of a man who decides to abandon his comfort-city areas (him, New York) to tell the story of rural people in Middle America, the “peasant” side of America, the one that does not jump on the front covers of the newspapers or even the tourist sites, and speaks through the faces of the people.
On the second floor, the photographs of Antoine d’Agata, another Magnum member, on show with two projects: CODEX America, on display with a controversial anthology of images composed between 1986 and 2017 and the video-installation WHITE NOISE, which mark his first solo in American soil. While in CODEX, the French photographer represents the brutal violence of society with a collage of carnal images turned predominantly red, in which we perceive the verbal and physical paroxysm, the social brutality that spreads but which cannot stop the artist in the social shooting that captures and reports its violence. In WHITE NOISE the scenes are represented with videos recorded in about twenty cities and offer a horizontal overview of the rampant violence that does not spare any kind of society: moments of fear, of drug scenes and violent sex.
Roger Ballen, with his forty years of photography behind him, is instead The Theater of the Absurd: 105 photographs taken between 1970 and 2013 and inspired by the theater of the absurd, in which he introduces his photograph accompanied by drawings, painting and graffiti , halfway between the brut art cultivated by Jean Dubuffet and the Graffiti di Brassaï series of photographs. A world vulnerable to any event, even if logically incomprehensible, that disfigures reality by impoverishing it with ideas, purity of meaning and purpose.
Black and white images for Andy Summers, the former guitarist of the Police who in the photographs of the series The Bones of Chuang Tzu represents dancers and musicians making a journey made of images of China, in search of an ancient and original era.
Known for his high-contrast monochromatic photographs, Ralph Gibson presents his Vertical Horizon with a new series of large paintings full of colors, totally different from his classic works, in black and white for which it is celebrated. A delicate border with lines and volumes halfway between graphic art and abstraction, and enhanced by the vertical format of his photographs.
On the third floor, the revealing work of the Australian Karry Payne Stanley with More Beautiful Broken: small photographs, a collection of intimate photographic essays that give voice to the many who suffer in silence. His projects explore the themes of birth and death.
Renée Jacobss proposes womenSEEwomen: a collection of images belonging to 9 different women, mystical and ethereal and depicting women in true, raw and resonant ways.
If it is true that the face is the body part for the whole of a person, our identity, the theme faced by Maggie Steber and her Story of the Face, addresses the story of Katie Stubblefield, an 18-year-old student who loses her beautiful face during a suicide attempt from which she will be saved, however, disfiguring her face and that in 2017, received as a donation the face of a thirty-one year old who died of overdose becoming the youngest recipient of a facial transplant of the entire history. The strong images of Maggie Steber address the theme in the most honest and sincere way possible, through the physical agony of those subjected to the operation, the anger due to the inability to recognize oneself in the new appearance.
Maria Daniel Balcazar with Kilombo proposes a photo-documentary that captures the essence of true Brazilian culture, breaking down prejudices and racial barriers and balancing the brutality with the educational activities that mix between the vitality of the African heritage and the richness of Brazilian syncretism.
Iris PhotoCollettive is a group of four photo-journalists who have decided to represent and disseminate the stories of people of color all over the world by winning two Pulitzers and three Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy Journalism Awards. On display with Still Images Still Matter, the frames stop on a society where everything goes too fast, causing excessive saturation of visual stimuli. But what if we slow down and stop treating our subjects as simple visual objects? Futuristic images in which movement is fixed in blurred images.
The merchandise images of the Leica Cameras Ambassador Mathieu Bitton, with Ascension portraying Lenny Kravitz between concerts and offstage are placed on the stairs between the third and fourth floors and open the scene to the images of a great exponent of documentary and advertising photography of our times: Elliott Erwitt. Longtime Magnus member, Elliott Erwitt proposes his images characterized by ironic and absurd situations of everyday life. At the Miami Photo Fest they are on display for the first time in the United States of America, the Paris series images: framed by Chanel designed frames: a sort of praise to the city that gave birth to him. Erwitt, going beyond the usual tourist clichés alternates with the imposing monuments, the charm of the Ville Lumiere daily alternating intimate details with views, and capturing their true flavor.
Ole Marius Jorgensen, fascinated by Stephen King’s narrative and directed by Steven Spielberg with the series A Long Forgotten Nocturne, uses theatrical light and juxtaposition of bright colors to emphasize the mystery and duality of rural life in the modern world as an astronaut that amazes the viewer finding himself in unexpected landscapes and totally out of logic.
An intimate look at the life of the inhabitants of the cities and their solitude is that of Aristotle Roufanis who, with the large images of the series Alone Together, waits patiently for the city to fall asleep to catch it with clicks. A process that can take several hours, but which gives contrasts and information that can be collected by reading an urban landscape. Alone Together combines several themes that have appeared in the works of Aristotle Roufanis, a civil engineer, who fuses them in a skillful and refined way: night scenes that are completed with few lights in contrast with the darkness, which makes the images lose their depth becoming flat , like a veil that protects the tender humanity hidden behind it.
The use of stage effects and desaturated colors are used by the duo Formento + Formento, composed by Richeille and BJ, which expose the Japan Diaries: a series of images from 2013 to today, in which the mysterious sensuality of style reveals the fascination for fiction and reality, where the sense of the place is in the foreground, creating cinematographic photographs, almost anthropological, with a vision that refers to the past but remains contemporary and very original. The highly scenic images evoke many references to the Japanese cinema of the Fifties, to the photographs of Nobuyoshi Araki, to the Ukiyo-e Edo woodblock prints and to the erotic imagery of the paintings of Ero Guro. As external observers, the stylized images of Formento explore the dichotomies that embody the inhabitants of modern Japan, confusing the aesthetic between tradition and modernity, between fantasy and reality. Each image of the Japan Diaries is as if it were taken from a Japanese film noir in which, in every solitary figure, he yearns for something unknown.
In addition to the guest artists who hosted the Miami Photo Fest, Fuji awarded the International Emerging Photographi Awards: Hardijanto Budiman from Jakarta, Indonesia for the single series and Alberto dell’Hoyo, of La Orotava, Spain for competition series.
The purpose of the International Emerging Photographi Awards is to promote photographers to create new opportunities for discovery by breaking down creative barriers and overcoming themselves.