This autumn, the greater region of Cincinnati, Ohio, will be the host of a month-long celebration of photography and lens-based art as part of the third edition of FotoFocus Biennial! With a remarkable roster of participating venues, the event promises a thorough and extensive showcase of artworks, as well as four days of rich program featuring exhibitions, film screenings, lectures and performances by artists, curators, critics and art world professionals, to take place during the month of October 2016. After successful editions of 2012 and 2014, this year’s theme will be Photography, the Undocument, gathering works of art that question the documentary character of photography and exploring the boundaries between facts and fabrications. What can we expect at this year’s event?
Curated by Artistic Director and New York-based curator Kevin Moore, the Photography, the Undocument will address the alternative understandings of the documentary photograph, its claims to objectivity and the tendency toward subtle fantasy. Through a series of exhibitions, photography’s widely believed tendency to tell the truth and present reality will be questioned and eventually demystified, as its ability to alter the visible world will be unveiled. Apart from the shows curated by Mr. Moore, the venues participating in the FotoFocus Biennial were also invited to explore the topic of the Undocument. The ArtHub, for instance, is a temporary pavilion that will present programs and events throughout the entire duration of the event.
Over sixty venues from across Cincinnati, OH, will take part in the FotoFocus Biennial 2016 by hosting the accompanying shows and events dedicated to photography and lens-based art. Each of them will take a different approach to this year’s theme of Photography, the Undocument, through presentations of a variety of artworks, styles and media. At the Columbus Museum of Art, a group exhibition entitled The Sun Placed in the Abyss will feature more than 50 artists exploring the historical, social and technological conditions of contemporary photo-making, alongside solo shows by established artists like New York-based photographer Jen Davis and Alan Rath. At the Cincinnati Art Museum, a show dedicated to modernist community of photographers, writers, printmakers and publishers in Kentucky, while the Dayton Art Institute will put on display the works of Edward Burtynsky and Richard Mosse. Evidence is the name of the 1977 show featuring Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel which will have a reprise at the Art Academy of Cincinnati: Pearlman Gallery, as a result of three year-long search through archives of government organizations and major corporations.
Highlighting the theme of FotoFocus this year is the first solo museum exhibition in the United States dedicated to artist and photographer Roe Ethridge. The show, entitled Nearest Neighbor, presents over 15 years of photographs drawn from his extensive body of work and surveys his wide range of processes and working methods, shifting between commercial, fine art and personal photography. The name of the show refers to the type of sampling used when resizing a digital image, but it also alludes to the personal nature of Roe Ethridge’s work; in it, he often includes his own family members and friends, making his editorials and commercial imagery a bit more familiar. This kind of work will contribute to the biennial’s main theme by willingly stepping outside the realms of photojournalism and commercial photo-making, floating between the real and the imagined.
The FotoFocus Biennial 2016 will take place at over sixty participating museums, galleries, academic institutions and community organizations throughout the greater region of Cincinnati, OH, USA, from October 1st through 31st, 2016. The four days of concentrated programming and events will include October 6th through 9th. For more information, please visit the official website.
Featured images in slider: William E. Jones - Punctured, 2010. Sequence of digital files, black and white, silent, 4 min., 56 sec., loop. Courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles; Robin Rhode - The Moon is Asleep, 2016. Super 8mm lm transferred to digital HD, duration: 1 minute, 50 seconds, edition of 5. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong; Lewis Baltz - Commercial Building, Pasadena, 1973. Collection of Gregory and Aline Gooding. © Successors of Lewis Baltz. Used by permission. Courtesy of Gallery Luisotti, Santa Monica. All images courtesy FotoFocus Biennial 2016.