The perhaps most popular photography exhibition in Dumbo/ Brooklyn has opened its gates once again in 2015. The infamous Photoville started this past Thursday and is running until the end of this week Sunday. During its two-week-run, the art show will feature exhibits, talks, workshops and screenings for all fans of photography (and those who want to be). 2015 marks Photoville’s fourth season and each year it seems to be growing and growing – not only in size but also enthusiasm and quality of art. This year alone more than 400 artists participated along with 80 partners and more than 70 exhibitions. Just imagine the space designed for it: Pier 5 in beautiful Brooklyn Bridge Park. You will find photo stories dispersed along The Fence (outdoors on your way to Pier 5), in containers, and in other exotic places such as printed on cubes around a rooftop setting featuring the Manhattan skyline as a back drop.
A crucial part of the art exhibition are all the glorious pictures, which are displayed through various means: Photo stories, in pairs, or as single photos from a diversity of artists mixed together. Talks are also an essential part of Photoville and from Thursday through Sunday there is a full schedule hosting various photographers and other artists, who are discussing contemporary issues in photography. On Saturday, for example, I saw a presentation on “There’s No Place Like Home: How Notions of Citizenship and Statelessness Affect Migration” held by Mark Abramson, Q. Sakamaki and Sarah Tilotta. These three fine photographers were covering the loaded topic in various ways: By following a Mexican immigrant family on their day-to-day activities in California, by highlighting the issue of Uighurs in China, and by raising awareness of the sudden statelessness of Haitian immigrants in the Dominican Republic.
Lots of fun are also the containers with its photo stories while guessing what the artist wants to say with the eye of the camera. Sex Trafficking was certainly a good topic. Also a display of changes of generations in upstate New York, leaving a former industrial area impoverished and the new generation without much hope for a normal life. Combat-stories were also big – highlighting the all-too recent war in Iraq and Afghanistan and its survivors. I am always baffled at the courage of some photo journalists, who make it out to these areas of deep crisis and manage to convey the essentials of war life in thought-provoking pictures. I found that this year’s Photoville was a lot about education: Educating the general public and raising awareness on issues that are typically not found in day-to-day-conversations but which impact our Western lives to a bigger degree than we would like to admit. Be it politically or economically speaking – we cannot and should not close our eyes at some of these essential topics.
On a fun note, there were also great interactive seminars and workshops, such as the Print Swap event during which you could swap a few of your prints with other artists and take lots of critique home with you (and some new art). Photoville is also featuring hour-long photo walks around the neighborhood during which photographers show amateurs and pros on how to take better pictures on topics such as movement, sports and action, and product photography.
Overall, Photoville has outdone itself in this year’s program. Check it out until Sunday, September 19th to get your own opinion on things!