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 celebrates the wide spectrum of photography as it presents itself in our contemporary image culture. We will transform a location at Kop van Zuid into a street wise photography village and hub for photography fans, populated by 70+ shipping containers repurposed into exhibition spaces. The event will take place from 10th to 13th February 2022.
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 2022.
Theme 2022: The Human Blueprint
“I’ve been holding for a while that the concept of Nature is a sort of anthropocentrically scaled concept, designed for humans, so it’s not strictly relevant to thinking about ecology. In fact, it might even be, for various different reasons, a bit of a disaster. And the way in which it’s a bit of a disaster is that it separates the human from the non-human world by sort of an arbitrary aesthetic screen” -Timothy Morton
For its 2022 XL edition, Rotterdam Photo is happy to announce the launch of the New Open Call.
Following last year’s topic PLANET HUMAN, we continue to ask the same questions: Who are we, as human beings, besides the fact that we exist? What do we leave behind? How do we express ourselves? What is the role of our imperfections, the dark parts of our collective existence? Do they make us human?
Today, more than ever, the notion of being human is undergoing evolution. And this year we invite professional and amateur photographers to join us and think about the blueprints that we, as human beings, leave after us.
The crisis related to COVID-19 severely hurt all of us and the world completely focused its attention and resources to overcome it. However, another crisis is not possible to solve with mass vaccination and it keeps evolving every day. Recent floods in Germany, forest fires in Siberia, abnormal temperatures all around the globe, deforestation, massive animal extinction – these problems are escalating and have a systematic character.
The questions related to human activity and its aftermath and being aware of the future in an ecological way means being aware that there are ways with more time and spatial scales on which humans should be looking and thinking. Scientists say the weight of human-made objects already exceeds that of living things. In other words, the combined weight of all the plastic, bricks, concrete and other things we’ve made in the world outweighs all animals and plants on the planet for the first time. The weight of all the things we produce has been doubling every 20 years recently.
It means that the things we used to call nature aren’t quite natural anymore, they stop behaving like a nice neutral background to our human activity. Parts of the scene set are falling on us and it is painful. Some of them open and we see what is behind them – all kinds of stuff that we didn’t want to see.
Our species are profoundly transforming the Earth. The PLANET HUMAN is no longer metaphorical. And 2020 was not only the year of global pandemic, but the year when human-made mass overtook that of all the living things in the world. And if we continue this great acceleration it will be visible in sediments and rocks millions of years into the future. So we ask which Blueprint do we leave behind? How can we rethink our relationship with the rest of the non-human environment around us? And when will we stop perceiving the planet space as exclusively human, an anthropocentric space?
Photographers can submit their work from September 12th, 2021 to November 1st, 2021 at 11:59 pm PST. Rotterdam Photo Festival is open to submissions including different mediums, such as photography, installations, performance, digital art, and documentary works. [More info]
From a broad range of submissions, the selection commission selected over 120 photographers to exhibit their work, based on the theme PLANET HUMAN, during Rotterdam Photo 2021. All of them are going to be part of the Rotterdam Photo 2022.
Both national and international selection reveals the intriguing works of photographers like Roderik van Nispen, Dai Asano and Chris Lee. These selected photographers will display their work alongside renowned photographers such as Reiner Riedler, who will be presenting images from his project Pleasure Gardens. The exhibitions will be installed on both the inside and outside of the shipping containers next February in Rotterdam (NL). [More info]