Date: Friday 14th September 2018
Time: 3 — 7.30 PM
Location: Cinema Europa
Open to the public
This year’s conference on contemporary photography will take place on Friday, 14th September 2018 from 3—7.30pm in the Müller hall at Cinema Europa. The conference will be divided into 3 panels and it will focus on the intersection between theoretical understandings of the female gaze and its exploration in the work of the artists included in the festival as well as explore the changing role and position of a contemporary female photographer.
Lea Vene and Barbara Gregov, conference coordinators and creators, decided to move away from the conventional conference form, believing that theoretical discussions of female gaze often occur as essentially separate from women and girls themselves, thus alienating them from dominant discourses and representations of girlhood and womanhood. Talking with the artists, curators and theorists themselves, each panel will foreground the female perspective and emphasise their specific role as co-creators of meaning.
The conference is open to the public.
1) FEMALE PHOTOGRAPHER’S PERSPECTIVES NOW: 15:00 – 16:15h
speakers: Fiona Rogers, Emma Bowkett, Marina Paulenka, Anna-Kaisa Rastenberger
The panel will deal with the position of female photographers in relation to international photography scene and its actors, production and presentation conditions while also tackling the role of curators, festivals, photography awards and a different initiative supporting female photographers. Which issues do female photographers battle with, how can they shake dominant narratives and promote female activism? Why is focus on gender relations in the photography scene a relevant topic for discussing and uncovering power relations in the photography industry?
2) PHOTOGRAPHY, ETHICS AND THE OTHER: 16:30 – 17:45h
speakers: Nina Berman, Ulla Deventer, Laia Abril and Sandra Vitaljić
The panel will focus on the role of photography in articulating women’s experiences, in connecting the personal with the historical and the cultural. We want to see how photography is being used and how it can be used to foreground oppression, discrimination, stereotypization and dehumanization. Also, we want to explore the difficulty of representing the lived experiences of marginalized subjects, regardless of the imagery being fictional or documentary. We want to raise questions about the responsibility, consent and anonymity involved in the artistic production and dissemination. Our aim is to show and discuss artistic practices that present new understandings of ethics, rights, otherness, power, and agency in relation to photography.
3) GIRL – RECLAIMING THE GAZE: 18:00 – 19.15h
speakers: Arvida Byström, Lana Pukanić, Jennifer Loeber and Nydia Blas
The panel will revisit the concept of the female gaze and focus on artists and artistic practices that challenge feminine embodiment and self-representation. It will explore how different contemporary methods of portraiture challenge traditional ideas of identity, individualism and conformity. It will look into the possibilities of self-empowerment and self-branding via digital media as well as the ways in which social media conventions shape the production and circulation of constructions of girlhood and womanhood. When women are set to explore their own gender identity through their art, when their art is a form of self-expression, it is often belittled, perceived simply as an artefact of ‘girl culture’. In that way, the important work of mediation that is central to girls’ and women’s self-representation is obscured. The panel will also tackle the question of artistic labour in a broader sense, but especially in its connection to femininity, emphasize the amount of work necessary to retain some of the visual aspects of conventional femininity, while at the same time completely subverting the concept.