LISE SARFATI: "CREATING OPEN NARRATIVES IN PHOTOGRAPHY"

OCTOBER 8-11, 2020, BOWEN ISLAND/VANCOUVER, BC

WORKSHOP POSTPONED TO SPRING 2021: NEW DATES TO BE ANNOUNCED SOON

4-DAY MASTER WORKSHOP WITH LISE SARFATI
CREATING OPEN NARRATIVES IN PHOTOGRAPHY
OCT. 8 – 11, 2020 [POSTPONED TO 2021]
BOWEN ISLAND/VANCOUVER

This will be the highlight of the fall: a rare chance to get mentored artistically by one of leading voices in narrative photography today, acclaimed French artist Lise Sarfati! Lise will be hailing from Paris to meet with a small group of 10-12 talented photographers and offer them in-depth morning lectures covering her 30-year career, and focusing each day on one of her widely collected and published series in the context of their making. Participants will get the chance to ask questions and take an active part in Lise’s conversations. In the afternoon Lise will conduct extensive individual reviews of each participant’s work in a group setting offering new perspectives for narrative potential development, as well as informing their work with innovative documentary strategies for contemporary storytelling.

To kickoff her reviews Lise has designed a pre-assignment all participants will complete beforehand in the form of a 10-day personal journal. Through this intimate, creative exercise participants will investigate further their intuitive relationship to imagemaking, photographing 1 new image per day for 10 consecutive days accompanied by free-form writing. The resulting body of work will be looked at in contrast to pre-existing work during the reviews to draw out new relations and themes for participants to pursue post workshop.

Thanks to Lise’s high-caliber critical feedback and creative leadership, participants will leave the island with a deepened understanding of their practice, and a matured artistic vision with which to grow for many years to come.


INTRODUCTION

Since its origins, photography has always sought to document, but also to distance itself from that purpose. The very revealing work of Lise Sarfati lies exactly at the edge of both fields, between reality and fiction. Drawing on cinema and literature, her photographs conjure richly layered worlds often centered on specific “characters”, which avoid any fixed narratives and allow viewers to inhabit a space of multiple interpretations.

From 1989 to 1998, she lived in Russia, capturing the atmosphere of a country in transition. Her images of urban ruins and characters in interior spaces led to her first major body of work, Acta Est (2000) published by Phaidon. The series’ poetic approach set itself apart from the category of photojournalism and laid the groundwork for Sarfati’s later interest on the lives of young people.

In 2003, she travelled across the United States photographing adolescents in the cities of Austin (TX) Asheville (NC), Portland (OR), New Orleans (LO), Berkeley, Oakland and Los Angeles (CA). Her resulting series The New Life (2005) published by Twin Palms Publishers affirmed her approach to open narratives, depicting young characters and their feeling of being out of step with the world. As curator Javier Panera Cuevas has aptly described it, Sarfati “carefully rations the information that she gives out about each character, forcing us to decide each one’s destiny subjectively”. Her subsequent American projects Austin, Texas (2008), On Hollywood (2010) and She (2012) further explored her interests on psychogeography, feminine identity, and the everyday

With Oh Man (2017), a series of richly detailed tableaux depicting lonesome men walking in downtown Los Angeles, Sarfati departs from her accustomed 35mm format, opting for a 4×5 view camera. The urban theme, the relationship between individuals and architecture, is the strength of this series, which draws from the legacy of the great photographer Walker Evans and his street scenes. The large-format prints enlarge the space for contemplation, inviting the viewer to explore what is hidden in these deceptively simple images.

WORKSHOP PROGRAM & OUTCOMES

1. LECTURES: Lise’s daily workshop schedule will start with morning lectures where the artist will unfold the full spectrum of her practice choosing to focus on a different series each day. Tracking Lise’s work subtle variations and organic evolution through different lenses will gift participants with an unprecedented level of understanding of contemporary narrative practice in photography. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions and contribute ideas to Lise’s class conversations.

2. EXPANDED PORTFOLIO REVIEWS: During the afternoons selected participants will gain invaluable critical feedback from Lise’s expanded individual review format comprising both the workshop’s personal journal pre-assignment, and participants’ portfolio of pre-existing work (from 1 or a few different series, 25 images max) – the latter to be presented in print form along with a note of intent/artist statement. Projects for the portfolios can be either finished or currently ongoing. All techniques and approaches are welcomed.

3. SOME OF KEY TOPICAL POINTS TO BE ADDRESSED INCLUDE:
• Sequencing images to create open narratives
• Editing long-term projects
• The dynamics of space, subject and photographer during the photographic act
• The process of scouting people and locations
• Matching form and content in a project, from print sizes to installation strategies
• How to approach subjects to create meaningful portraits
• The idea of a “character” in photographic and cinematic narratives
• How to navigate the “confrontation with reality” during a project

© Cover image: © Lise Sarfati, oh man.phg7_07 2013, from the series & Book Oh Man (2018, Steidl Books)

© Lise Sarfati, oh man.phg9_08 2013

© Lise Sarfati, oh man.phg14_08 2013

© Lise Sarfati, oh man.phg10_12 2012

© Lise Sarfati, oh man.phg20_06 2012

ABOUT LISE SARFATI


Lise Sarfati (born 1958) is a French photographer and artist. She is noted for her photographs of elusive characters, often young, who resist being confined by definitions. Her work particularly explores the instability of feminine identity. Most recently, Sarfati’s photographs have focused on the relationship between individuals and the urban landscape. She has extensively worked in Russia and the United States. Sarfati’s work has met international critical acclaim and is held in major public and private collections, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; LACMA, Los Angeles; SF MoMA, CA; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA; De Young Museum, San Francisco; Pier 24, San Francisco; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, CA; Harry Ramson Center, University of Texas at Austin, TX; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas; Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris; and the Wilson Center of Photography, London. Sarfati has been awarded the Prix Niepce (1996) and ICP Infinity Award (1996). Between 1996 and 2011, she was a member of Magnum Photos. Sarfati is currently represented by Rose Gallery in Los Angeles.

Instagram | Website

ABOUT BOWEN ISLAND


Nestled in spectacular Howe Sound, North America’s southernmost fjord surrounded by towering peaks that rise straight out of the sea, Bowen Island is Vancouver’s paradisiac getaway since the 1900s. Dubbed ‘Happy Isle’ in the 1950s, this enchanted island is known to Vancouverites for its exceptional serenity, centennial natural park and laid-back country living all easily accessible a beautiful 20-minute ferry ride from metro Vancouver.

Today Bowen Island attracts visitors from all around the globe for its lakes, beaches, crown forest lands and beautiful hiking trails up to Mount Gardner (2350 feet) offering stunning panoramic views of Howe Sound. While on Bowen visitors can also enjoy many amenities in Snug Cove (aka Downtown Bowen), Bowen’s main hub and historical marina featuring an array of attractions from historic turn-of-the-century buildings and quaint boardwalk boutiques, galleries, fine groceries and cafés, as well as Artisan Square (aka Uptown Bowen), the island’s original artistic village just a short trek up the hill now also home to the new FOTOFILMIC SPACE.

WORKSHOP DETAILS & FAQ

4-DAY WORKSHOP TUITION

EARLY BIRD [ENDS JULY 31st, 2020]
SCHOLARSHIP (x2): $795USD
STUDENT/RECENT GRAD*: $995USD
REGULAR: $1245

[* May 2019 and after]


REGULAR REGISTRATION [ SEPT.15, 2020 FINAL DEADLINE]
STUDENT/RECENT GRAD*: $1245USD
REGULAR: $1495USD
[* May 2019 and after]

APPLICATION PROCESS AND DEADLINE

To be considered for a scholarship or early bird rebate applications must be received by July 31st, 2020 (Sept.15 deadline for regular applications). All applications are free of charge (no fee to apply). Participants will be selected on a first come, first served basis so applying early is encouraged for greater chances of being selected. Up to 12 participants will be selected to attend and present their work. Lise’s workshop is open to both film and digital photographers.

WORKSHOP DEPOSIT & PAYMENT PLAN

A $400 deposit will be required upon being selected to confirm enrolment. Registration balances will be due in full by September 15, 2020. If needed, a free customized payment plan can be also offered to split the remaining registration balance into several smaller monthly payments (at no additional cost).

WORKSHOP LOCATION, TRAVEL & ACCOMMODATION

FOTOFILMIC SPACE
103-555 Prometheus Lane,
Artisan Square,
Bowen Island, BC V0N 1G2


Flights, local transportation, accommodations and meals are not included in the registration fees. An information packet containing detailed directions by car and public transportation (train, bus & ferry) from the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), as well as many lodging options on Bowen Island is emailed to selected participants upon registering.

Complimentary coffee, tea and snacks are provided to all participants every morning.

CANCELLATIONS & WITHDRAWALS

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic withdrawal/cancelation late notices are now allowed up to 4 weeks before the workshop on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at the latest to receive a refund. Please note withdrawals unrelated to Covid-19 remain subject to a  $250 USD cancelation fee*.

Cancellation requests received after September 10, 2020 won’t be accepted but fully transferable tuition credit will be allowed toward any other FotoFilmic workshop, seminar or retreat during a 2 full year period of time (October 31, 2022 deadline).

* In the event the workshop was not meeting minimum enrolment (9 students) or needed to be canceled for any reason (including Coronavirus developments), deposits will be refunded in full (no cancelation fee retained). Please also note FotoFilmic cannot be held responsible for any traveling expense refunds if the workshop gets canceled. Purchasing travel insurance is therefore recommended.

CONTACT

For any questions or inquiries, please contact FotoFilmic Co-Director Bastien Desfriches Doria directly at bastien@fotofilmic.com

ABOUT SOCIAL DISTANCING

Covid-19 Measures & Social distancing: enrolment is purposely limited to 12 participants to insure ample safe spacing while working in the large 1600 sq ft + space FotoFilmic Space. Plenty of hydro-alcoholic gel as well as face masks will be made available, and touching surfaces like tables and chairs, door knobs, etc. will be integrally disinfected on a daily basis. Common use areas will also be throughly cleaned overnight for the next day.

 

APPLICATION FORM

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  • 10 images max, 1500 pixels width max, 72 dpi. Note: When uploading your work, the red "x" tab indicates that your files were uploaded successfully. Only click on the red "x" tab if you need to remove/edit your files before completing your submission.
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    • SUBMIT WORKSHOP APPLICATION FORM

      Please review your information and click SUBMIT to send us your workshop application and access our confirmation page. There is no cost to apply but should you be selected, a $400 deposit will be required to secure your seat.