Rotterdam Photo is an annual photo fair with a festival flair. Taking place during Art Rotterdam Week, this event gives to art lovers have the opportunity to visit numerous art and design events.
The event, located at Nieuw – Mathenesse, Rotterdam (NL), celebrates the wide spectrum of photography as it presents itself in our contemporary image culture. We will transform this location near harbor into a street wise photography village and hub for photography fans, populated by 70+ shipping containers repurposed into exhibition spaces, from 30th June till 4th July 2021.
Each year, festival invites a wide gamut of independent photographers to exhibit at the fair, whether or not they are accompanied by a gallery. From amateurs to fine art and from documentary to street, photographers are welcomed to submit their work via an open call that revolves around a current theme. The goal is to offer an affordable exhibition space compared to the usual art/photo fairs. The selected photographers get the opportunity to showcase their work alongside our curated exhibitions and an elaborate fringe programme.
Participating photographers get to sell their own work, meet gallerists, art buyers and photography lovers, as well as international art press professionals. Inspired by the history of Rotterdam as a port city, the festival provides the selected photographers with exhibition space in repurposed shipping containers and also uses the public space of Rotterdam to bring photography outside the ‘white cube’ tradition.
In addition to the exhibitions, Rotterdam Photo organizes talks, workshops and a fringe program with music and exhibitions on digital screens throughout the city. Street vendors, cafes and restaurants in the area also offer great food and delicious drinks, so the public can spend their time during Art Rotterdam Week.
Theme 2021: Planet human
For its 2021 edition, Rotterdam Photo sheds light on the theme PLANET HUMAN. That is partly inspired by the corona crisis, which brought our daily lives to a complete standstill in record time: nothing is the same anymore and our mortality suddenly no longer seems to be a ‘far-from-my-bed show’. Besides a lot of panic and unrest, we are also forced to think about our way of life.
Who are we, as human beings, besides the fact that we exist? What do we leave behind? How do we express ourselves? What are our dreams? How do we experience love, pain, happiness? How do we grow?What is the role of our imperfections, the dark parts of our collective existence? Do they make us human? After all that, we can ask a pressing question: how do we capture these emotions?
Photography is the ideal tool for this, because it captures our existence in all its beauty and repugnance. What happens to artmaking when nature takes over? Is it worth it, or is it pure vanity to want to preserve our creations for eternity, and preferably for the entire universe? Are we just snapshots ourselves? Are artworks part of the natural process, where everything returns to dust? Stonehenge, the mythical statues of Easter Island, the city of Petra in the mountains of Jordan and the Egyptian Pyramids prove the opposite: centuries later, they play a powerful proof of civilizations that are no longer there. We who enjoy these strong works of art have the duty to preserve everything that is beautiful and good, so that others – even those outside this earth – can enjoy and learn from our views later on.
Let us safeguard the legacy of the future and do everything we can to preserve our PLANET HUMAN and proudly show who we are, in all our facets, good and evil. During this coming edition, Rotterdam Photo will highlight possible answers to these questions.