FotoFilmic is a Vancouver, Canada based arts organization created in 2012 and dedicated to supporting emerging photographic artists through exhibitions, publications, as well as seminars, public talks and master workshops. Our mandate consists in stimulating sociocritical dialogues all around the world on the place, role and future of material practices in contemporary photography while providing intercultural audiences with greater exposure and appreciation for them.
To date FotoFilmic presented nearly 200 photographic artists from 30 countries in professional art venues in Seoul, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Paris and Thessaloniki. Recent collaborators we’ve had the privilege of working with through various programs (detailed below) include artists Danny Lyon, Joel Sternfeld, Alec Soth, Todd Hido, Mark Steinmetz, Roger Ballen and Larry Fink, as well as directors and curators Barrie Mowatt (Vancouver Biennale), Ann-Christin Bertrand (C/O Berlin), Joachim Naudts (FOMU), Karen McQuaid (The Photographer’s Gallery), Valerie Cazin (Galerie Binome), Heather Snider (SF Camerawork) and Ashlyn Davis (Houston Center for Photography).
MATERIAL PRACTICES IN CONTEMPORARY PHOTOGRAPHY
A testimony to the continuous rooting and resurgent evolutions of 21st C. photographic arts in analogue and historical media, FotoFilmic’s underlying vision aims to spur new contemporary understandings of film-based and analogue photography, along with its rich lineage of physical craft, within the context of global digital culture. In doing so we also wish to fuel a collective critical questioning of today’s increasingly instantaneous consumption and discarding of images, and to encourage an image-making culture purposed to positive social change in the eyes of the rapid technological transformations witnessed since the rise of internet.
By ‘material practices’ we first and foremost refer to the photographer’s experience of meeting his/her subjects’s finite time & space reality (its circumstantial here and now) with an equally finite medium (film rolls for instance that only allow for a limited number of takes). As photographers learn to cope and develop different responses and strategies to working in real situation, we believe it procures them a more grounded practice both in terms of camerawork and regarding any other aspect of photographic production (darkroom work, physical interactions with the medium, etc.). This ultimately allows photographers to negotiate a different epistemology of the act of photography itself (what it means to photograph being reflected by how one chooses to photograph).
The idea that now more than ever how we photograph has a huge impact on meaning construction, trickling all the way down to a photographer’s artistic identity is central to FotoFilmic’s focus on material practices. Although film-based and analogue photographic technologies have remained mostly unchanged since the late 1990s, their understanding and uses by many of today’s photographers have on the other hand all drastically evolved. Choosing to work within the very limitations that digital technology supposedly erased speaks eloquently of a very different social and artistic context for photographers to exist in. FotoFilmic exists to further explore that all-important space and provide it the rich outlet it needs to emerge as the relevant and as ever contemporary medium it remains, and will hopefully always be.
Every year FotoFilmic organizes an annual, global photography call unique in its scope and genre juried by a different international panel each year inviting established photographers, curators, publishers and organization directors to collaborate and mount a large 30-photographer traveling exhibition picked from a shortlist of 90. The latest 6th edition FOTOFILMIC18 is set to open in May in Vancouver before traveling to Seoul in July and August, and San Francisco in the fall of 2019.
SOLO EXHIBITION AWARDS
Part solo exhibition, part mentoring program SOLO launched in August of 2017 from a desire to offer emerging and mid-career photographers internationally a new ground to have their most accomplished work connect to some of the most influential contemporary figures of photography.
A passing of the baton of sort, SOLO gave so far photographers Todd Hido, Alec Soth, Mark Steinmetz, Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb, Joel Sternfeld and Danny Lyon the opportunity to directly mentor young, exciting talents from the next generation. SOLO laureates this past year were Jill Beth Hanes, Marisa Chafetz, Matthew Genitempo, Ryota Kajita, Rob Stephenson and Matthew Barbarino. Each received a 2-month solo exhibition at the FotoFilmic PULP Gallery on Bowen Island in Vancouver, as well as a feature FILM TALKS interview publication. Importantly, the laureates had the opportunity to meet and work with their respective juror/mentor through a workshop invitation as part of their award.
In 2016, FotoFilmic produced its first retrospective exhibition “The New Face of Film” in collaboration with Boise State University’s Visual Arts Center in Boise, ID. Curated by FotoFilmic, the retrospective assembled 20 photographers from the past FOTOFILMIC13, FOTOFILMIC14 and FOTOFILMIC15 touring exhibitions to present a unique worldview of contemporary photography’s material practices. A second retrospective exhibition bringing together the works of SOLO laureates Jill Beth Hanes, Marisa Chafetz, Matthew Genitempo and Ryota Kajita was organized in collaboration with Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Art Department in October-November, 2018 at the Arbutus Gallery in Surrey, BC, Canada
MASTER WORKSHOPS & SEMINARS
FotoFilmic Master Workshops are high quality, small-group mini-retreats designed to boost the creative practice of growing photographers through direct mentoring with some of today’s most acclaimed figures of contemporary photography. Workshops take place over the course of 2 weekend days and involve small groups of participants to allow for meaningful, individual interaction.
Upcoming Seminars and Workshops:
Danny Lyon, ‘Prints Into Books and Films: In Conversation with Danny Lyon’, June 14 + 15, 2019
Alec Soth, ‘On Making a PhotoBook (That Matters)’, July 27 + 28, 2019
FOTOFILMIC PULP GALLERY
Opened in late September 2016 and situated on Bowen Island, a short 20-minute ferry ride from Vancouver, the FotoFilmic PULP Gallery showcases a select inventory of limited edition prints and photobooks from the FotoFilmic Collections while providing a home to island-exclusive rotating exhibitions and a convening base to all workshop visitors and artists.
FOTOFILMIC COLLECTIONS & ONLINE STORE
Through the years FotoFilmic has gathered exciting collections of artist prints and photobooks from its shortlisted and exhibited photographers. These represent a truly unique internationally diverse focus on contemporary emerging analogue photography encompassing a broad variety of practices, approaches and final works to consider for collectors. Several times a year FotoFilmic draws curated selections from its collections as island exclusive shows encompassing books, zines, artists prints, framed works and more. As an additional means to jumpstart commercial revenues in support of its artists’ practices and projects, FotoFilmic also maintains an online store making its collections accessible to the entire photography and art world community.