Photobook festival in Kassel: Turning over the pages

4-5. June I spent in Kassel at the Fotobook festival. It is always nice to meet new and old friends on such events. And of course to meet new and old books. I don’t want to describe here the event itself, which this year was dedicated to books of Martin Parr/ Iberian books/ fresh books, there are already some reports such as this one written by Harvey Benge (who was among my reviewers) or the series of reports written by Eva Gravayat, coordinator of the festival, for instance this. I’ll rather focus on my own impressions and experience.

What i actually did during the festival? Firstly, took part in portfolio review and showed my works. The review was organized very well. Of course, it can not be compared with the portfolio review which took place in Moscow 4 years ago (it is already became a legend among Russian photographers!), where we all overate caviar, fruits and champagne ))) It was organized by Garage, the institution led by a girlfriend of Russian millionaire Roman Abramovich, that explains everything. Well, with the exception of absent caviar and champagne, I can repeat that the review was very well organized. Creme de la creme of European publisher’s scene, such as Klaus Kehrer (Kehrer Verlag), Erik Kessels (Kessels Kramer Publishing) and others were invited as reviewers.

I showed two of my books – already self published in 2014 photo book “Secrets” and my new photo book dummy “Looking for my father”, on which we’ve been working last half year with a graphic designer Julia Borissova.

Got great feedback (mostly, positive!). The story behind the book is very personal and in some cases evoked deep feelings in reviewer’s souls. One of them even told me that he has almost the same situation with his already adult daughter, who is married and have children, but he has never met them. It seemed like the project touched him deeply. Glad that the idea evokes emotions in souls of people from different cultures – at the end of the day, we are all the same. Surprisingly enough, some reviewers didn’t recognize Marcello Mastroianni and Alain Delon. “Who are these guys? Is it your father? Or is it your father?”…Well, only two charming Italian curators Fiore Pinna and Chiara Capodici recognized them immediately! 🙂

The second day I dedicated to the turning over the pages of exhibited photo book dummies and winners of the photo book’s contest. The amount of great books overwhelmed me and I realized to what extent it is hard to be chosen today for such event. The field is very competitive. Among the selected dummies there were two books of Russian authors – Julia Borissova and Irina Popova. Both are really nicely done.

Photographer Irina Popova presented there books published by her publishing house “Dostoevsky Photography Society” (Amsterdam), and photographer from Azerbaijan based in Spain Ilkin Huseynov showed books made by his publishing house “Riot Books” (Madrid). I remember, when I met him 2 years ago at the same event in Kassel, he just started this publishing company and narrated about this in my blog, and now “Riot Books” has already published some award-winning editions and Ilkin was among the reviewers of the portfolio-review, which is a really positive tendency.

I happened to visit an excursion led by Martin Parr himself through his huge photo book’s exhibition and visited some talks about books. Drank a lot of tea, talked to people a lot, stand by the table during the portfolio walk and narrated about my project thousand times… and once again has no time to see the sight of Kassel (that’s really shame, because I was here already for the third time). Let’s hope that next time I’ll finally go sightseeing!

Below is a short video giving a brief overview of some festival events (of course, not all of them, because the festival this year became really huge in comparison with the last occasion). But, of course, it is better to come and see everything by your own eyes! Let’s meet in Kassel next time!

Young Russian photography. Part 2. Ural.

I met Julia Abzaltdinova this February in Yekaterinburg (Russia). I visited my home town Perm which is located in Ural region, not far from Yekaterinburg, and decided to continue my series of interviews with Russian young photographers – this time in Ural region of Russia. We all know already a lot about photographers from two capitals, Saint-Petersburg and Moscow, but there are so many places in Russia with great photographers waiting to be discovered… Cover photo (c) Denis Tarasov. Featured photographers: Denis TarasovSergey Poteryaev, Fyodor TelkovJulia Abzaltdinova.

p.s. the video below is in Russian, do not forget to turn on English subtitles.

Young Russian photography. Part I

Elina Ryzhenkova is the young artist from Russia. She studied psychology, then she became interested in photography and later in contemporary painting. She is one of the young Russian photographers and artists who strive for being shown across the world, publish photo and art books, take part in international portfolio-reviews and join international artist community.

Евгения Свещинская

Мы встретились с Евгенией Свещинской в Амстердаме в мае 2013 года. Евгения — исследователь фотографии, редактор, куратор. Сотрудничает с компанией Paradox и работает как фриланс-куратор. Евгения рассказала о том, как она оказалась в Амстердаме, почему это лучший город из тех, в которых она жила, каким образом художник в Голландии может жить и нигде работать, а также поделилась собственным кураторским опытом. Кстати, одну из лекций Евгении (по созданию мультимедийных историй) можно посмотреть здесь.

Photobooks again!

The 6th Photobook festival in Kassel (Germany) was held in October this year (by the way, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all readers of this blog!). I wrote a post about the festival already here. Finally, I am presenting the long-awaited video interview with Hannes Wanderer, the publisher from Berlin, owner of Peperoni Books. We have had quite long virtual communication before we met in Kassel during the festival — and I was really happy about it! Hannes has long grey hair, beard and mysterious gaze from under the glasses. He looks like a good wizard who makes you expecting a miracle every moment. What could he bring to a young photographer and turn his/her creation into? Watch this video from Kassel.

Street. Leo Erken

I met Leo Erken in Amsterdam. He is a documentary photographer. He studied in at AKI Academy of fine Art in the Netherlands. Leo has been working as a documentary photographer for many years, shooting in Eastern Europe and Russia. In the late 1990s he started moving towards documentary film making. Since 2007 Leo Erken is a lecturer at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague. His book «Street» based on Russian material published this year in Germany.

Meet Steve Bisson

Come with me to meet Steve Bisson in Treviso, who is a curator of photo and video festivals, a founder of popular photo blog Urbanautica, teacher at university in Venice and art-director of Browning Gallery in Italy. I am sure all of you, guys, have been in contact with him while sending him your new projects longing to see it posted at Urbanautica, haven’t you? It is time to meet him personally and know a bit more about his work and his views about photography!