To match the profile of the 2nd Mannheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg Foto Festival in 2007 under the heading of "REALITY CROSSINGS", the focus of the show will be on contemporary photography, pinpointing socially relevant themes and enlarged in scope by answers from those areas of art (for instance, video) in which modes of seeing specific to photography stimulate discussion.
This new photo festival tracks down associations with what is past (documentaries, reporting) while opening doors to what is new (emotionalisation through ambitious thematic ranges as well as relaxing meditation spaces).
The aim is to relaunch the familiar "Fototage" to make this series of events in the region attractive and give them a distinctive profile for the future.
Some 80 (mainly young) artists
from at least 25 countries
will be participating in the Foto Festival. Special works will be created on site under the auspices of workshops. The exhibitions will be accompanied by re-viewings for both photographers and specialist critics, thematically in-depth discussion forums and workshops.
"REALITY CROSSINGS" means the convergence of the media planes occupied by cutting-edge photography with the realities of life all around us. It concerns phenomena which, on the one hand, are to be given state-of-the-art, media-specific treatment and, on the other, handled challengingly in a way that is socially open and can foster questions that delve deeper (for example, on the subject of the sense of sight / the visual sense, what is specific to photography, perception/outwitting/counterfeiting, one’s own/others’, acceptance, tolerance of one’s opposite number, dialogue with those who see/think differently, what is differently configured socially or politically, globalisation conflicts, the body and the electronic/digital image culture, etc).
Basically all this implies making visible what tends to be overlooked or ignored. The concept is centred on the socially interested glance that documents and perceives as an eye witness to the times while also exploring the aetiology of context.
The determinants of the concept will be artistic stances that are committed to the ideals of the Enlightenment from a conviction that dogmatically rigid historical judgments must be questioned. The Festival is prepared to withstand the continuing conflict arising in and with the world that will inevitably result from this conception.
With its pictorial substructure based on documentary material, the Festival is fundamentally undertaking to argue against exaggeratedly ideological moulding while tabling for discussion the speciousness of conditions that imply a threat to the basic living conditions of particular groups of people.