Time on Quaaludes and Red Wine
Anna Galí - 2018, Barcelona
After an unexpected death of my son Tomeu in March 2017, at eighteen, due to overdose, and thanks to the new digital legacy and tracks we all leave these days -texts and images found in his phone, his laptop or his social network- I discovered a part of him that I didn’t know and that he hid behind his exceptional normality, someone who searched, using medicines and drugs, a way out of his discomfort in the world. His generation has lived the evolution of photography towards new uses thanks to the Internet, mobile devices and social network. Images have become a communicative act inserted in that “parallel universe”. Their visual story is made from the very first film photos in the family album until the latest photos and videos, shared on Snapchat or Instagram. Same happened with the expression of their desires, worries or frustrations, which have leapt from the paper notebook to the Internet and the social network. Technology has changed the way we interact with the others, even more among young people, who are just building their identity. They are (we all are) more connected than ever, but also more alone than ever. And we, being parents, never get to know entirely our children, and it’s natural, but this generation gap has been growing along with the technology. Using different sources (analogue photography, digital appropriation, family archive, texts, personal documents, screenshots, images of own authorship) ToQaRW addresses issues of our times such as the building of identity in adolescence, family relationships, the online drugs markets, addictions, death or grief, or the duality between the identity we show and the digital/virtual identity. ToQaRW it’s an essential part of my grief process, as I needed to try to understand my son in order to know whom I should remember, miss and keep on loving, but as well it’s a way of let him tell us about his own identity and story himself, a story in which his peers can see themselves identified in many aspects.
She has been interested in photography as a means of documentation and expression since her adolescence, perhaps because in her childhood she got to know it first hand thanks to her brothers, who set up a dark room in the family home garage. She bought her first camera in 1984 after a hard summer work selling ice cream at Costa Brava. And she has never stopped taking pictures. She studied a degree in Mathematics, and later around her thirties she decided to develop her self-taught formation in photography, carrying out multiple online and face-to-face courses and workshops. Between 2013 and 2015 she solo exhibited her first project, Ghosts of Comala, based on the book "Pedro Páramo" by the Mexican author Juan Rulfo, at several places in Catalonia. By attending the Photography and Text Workshop (Grisart School) and the Specialization Course in Photobook Editing (IEFC School) she discovered her passion for photographic narrative, the combination of text and images when telling stories and her passion for photobooks. In 2017 she attended the Project Creation Course (Grisart, Barcelona) where she carried out the project Time on Quaaludes and Red Wine. At present she’s combining non-photographic teaching with her professional activity in architecture and interior photography and with the development of personal photographic projects.
There is Nothing New Under the Sun
Kata Geibl - 2019, Budapest
"A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The Sun rises, and the sun goes down and hastens to the place where it rises. What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the Sun." Frederic Jameson once said that it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Our contemporary culture is hugely influenced by global capitalism, which affects every part of our life. The myth of society is that if we work hard enough, we can become “somebody”. This kind of individualism led to the belief that we think that the world exists for the benefit of mankind. We crave perfectionism and at the same time use the Earth’s resources as if there is no tomorrow. As an artist, I always try to reflect on our contemporary culture and the world we live in, to mirror what happens in our society. I believe we all can feel the rise of this new era even when we lack words to describe it. The way we consume, inquire, vote, communicate, and work is rapidly changing every day. There is Nothing New Under the Sun is capturing the Zeitgeist of our time, without laying out answers to the viewer but guiding their mind and creativity into the direction of the story behind the images.
Kata Geibl (1989, Budapest) is a photographer living and working in The Hague. Her work is mainly focused on global issues, capitalism, collective memory and the ambiguities of the photographic medium. Her work Sisyphus received international attention, was exhibited at UNSEEN Amsterdam which was followed by her first solo show in Budapest. She received the emerging talent Paris Photo Carte Blanche Award for the series and in the same year, she was nominated for Palm* Photo Prize. In 2019, she received the József Pécsi Photography Scholarship and was a talent for Futures Platform nominated by Capa Center Budapest. This year she is one of the finalists at the 35th Hyéres Festival and Grand Prix Finalist at Fotofestiwal Lodz.
È Così la Vita
Lea Meienberg - 2018, Sardinia
È Cosi la Vita - An Ode to Standstill Nowadays many people long for simplicity, for a place safe from the soaring flow of information, in sync with nature. While new approaches to well-balanced lifestyles are constantly being researched and promoted, some communities have never abandoned their natural equilibrium. The island Sardinia is one of five Blue Zones, the regions of the world where people live much longer than average. In remote villages in the heartland of Sardinia live the oldest people in Europe. Their way of life is largely unchanged for generations, and in some way these island people are unaffected by the outside world. I visited these pristine parts and photographed the village elders, wanting to experience their simple life and with a desire to document their stories. Not more than a few hours away from the vibrating capital of Cagliari and some world famous beach holiday spots, everything almost solely revolves around family and the passion for self-sufficiency. People are agile and busy (with their gardens, their vineyards and the preparation of homemade food), but stress and pressure are unknowns. The series „È Cosi la Vita“, which translates into „That‘s what life is like“, illustrates my perspective of an existence close to nature and the mysticism surrounding the long lives of these islanders. Technicalities: To emphasize the lineaments marked by a long life on the island, I chose black and white with a neutral background for the portraits and contrasted them with the colours of landscapes and foods, the essentials of the Sardinians daily lives. By arranging the single images into one big picture, a scenery is formed that dissects the sensitivities and idiosyncrasies of this small world in standstill, creating room for the viewer to reflect about time and their own busy lives.
Lea Meienberg is a freelance photographer based in Zurich. She has been working for editorial and corporate clients since 2008. Born in Switzerland in 1982, Lea majored in art and media design at the F+F School of Arts and Design in Zurich. She has completed assignments and personal projects in Berlin, Sardinia, New York, Hongkong and across the African continent in countries such as Angola, Tanzania and Kenya. Specializing in portrait and reportage photography, her work gets printed by major European publishing houses and appears in magazines and newspapers such as Die Zeit, Monocle, The Telegraph, NZZ, Sonntagszeitung and Le Temps. Apart from her editorial work she collaborates regularly with companies such as chocolate manufacturer Sprüngli, Swiss railways SBB and Switzerland Tourism. Lea is represented by 13 Photo agency and a member of Near, the Swiss association for contemporary photography.
Nils Stelte - 2019, Berlin
Between documentation and distortion, Renaissance is an ongoing project that explores the broad supply of spiritual eclecticism in urban communities that strives for stress relief. In forests, community halls, hospitals and hotel lobbies urbanites gather for rituals apart from major religions in the search for mental catharsis and regeneration. Although emerging as an individual psychological burden, stress is a societal symptom conquering todays everyday life, condensed in the city. Desiring security, relief and optimism its dwellers perform symbolic acts to replace their previous outlook on life with new meanings and altered experiences. In seemingly staged photos Renaissance shows individuals in the quest for means to overcome personal crisis. These operate between self-optimisation and self-realisation, between spiritualism and pragmatism, and add up to a list of possibilities designed to make us resilient.
Nils Stelte (*1989 in Berlin, Germany) is a Berlin-based photographer. He is a graduate of Ostkreuz School of Photography where he was mentored by Ute Mahler. He holds a B.A. in Social Sciences from Humboldt University Berlin. Using his background in the social sciences, his work explores changing socio-political beliefs and examines their influence on the individual. In Security documents the mounting of contemporary security apparatuses. Showing both their material and symbolic dimensions, Nils' work portrays how they reflect and even subtly contribute to the states of insecurity that define our contemporary moment. Rather on a macro but on an individual level his latest work Renaissance deals with how to overcame personal crisis and to return to pre-crisis status quickly. Between documentation and distortion of reality it collects present rituals chosen by city dwellers aiming to deal with stressors and their longing for possibilities to step up their resilience. In Security won the Münzenberg Forum first prize and was selected and exhibited at Darmstädter Tage der Fotografie, Young The PhotoBook Museum by Markus Schaden, Copenhagen Photo Festival, Athens Photo Festival, and Lumix Festival. He was part of the 2nd Cycle of Parallel Platform.