f/stop: end of the world as we know it


f/stop is one of the most important photography festivals in Germany with around 10,000 visitors over a 10 day period. This year, it explores the potential of narrative photography in our time.

The end of the world as we know it, ist der Beginn einer Welt, die wir nicht kennen (is the beginning of a world we don’t know)

The seventh edition of the bi-annual international photography festival will run from 25 June to 3 July. f/stop 2016 will look back at the history of the genre of reportage and attempt to find out which forms of media representation are best suited to portray the events in our chaotic world.

The digital age has brought dramatic changes to the medium of photography: In seconds, images travel around the world, ensnaring us in the contradictory reality of a globalized world. It’s a revolution perhaps comparable to that of the 19th century, when industrialisation caused cities to expand at an unprecedented rate and the genre of reportage emerged as a new form of narrative distributed by the mass media. A new understanding is developing of what photographic practices are best suited to provide an image of the world we live in. Is photography still a vessel for our experiences or have pictures taken control over us?

Directed by Anne König and Jan Wenzel, editors of Spector Books, this edition of the f/stop presents artistic photography alongside media images, private snapshots alongside historical reportages. It connects the mobile phone pictures of a Syrian refugee family to the images of Gerda Taro and Robert Capa from the Spanish Civil War.

The images bear witness to the same things in completely different manners or present things that are quite different in a similar way.

They portray and conceal, they complement and contradict each other, they work together or accuse one another of lies. They turn their backs on each other or form opposing antitheses. Yet they are equally capable of offering support and of cooperating – with us, too, the viewers.

In addition to the main exhibition, national and international guest curators will present their perspective on current forms of narrative photography: the theorist and film maker Ariella Azoulay for f/stop Solo; the American artist Monica Haller for f/stop Print; and students of Anastasia Khoroshilova (Rodchenko Art School Moscow), Armin Linke & Michael Clegg (Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design) and Gilles Saussier (Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie Arles) for f/stop Plattform. An important part of this year’s festival is also the In Situ exhibition, with reportages by Lee Miller, Margaret Bourke-White, Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, as well as works by Gilles Raynaldy and Andreas Langfeld in public areas of Leipzig. A comprehensive program of events with a symposium, artist talks and a film series – in addition to exhibitions and events put on by f/stop Satellites and Accomplices – will round out the festival offerings.

© Kenji Kawamoto, Yopparai Tengoku, 2014 @Spinnerei for f/stop
© Kenji Kawamoto, Yopparai Tengoku, 2014 @Spinnerei for f/stop

Baumwollspinnerei: A discussion on current forms of narrative photography

In the last few decades, digitalization has quickly brought the world closer together and created a society of images: online, on mobile phones, in the daily news. Everything is simultaneously there and not there. Curated by Anne König and Jan Wenzel, the main exhibition at the Baumwollspinnerei in Leipzig takes the term “ex-perience” as a point of departure. How should we use the medium of photography to explain and understand the globalized world in all its complexity?

The exhibition features works by Ruth Berlau, Khaled Barakeh, Bertolt Brecht, Robert Capa, Thomas Härtrich, Johann Peter Hebel, Sven Johne, Dagmar Keller & Martin Wittwer, Kenji Kawamoto, Andreas Langfeld, Bettina Lockemann, Ute Mahler, Lee Miller, Gilles Raynaldy, Erich Salomon, George Strock, Olivier van Breugel & Simone Mudde, Erik van der Weijde, Jonas Zilius, Tobias Zielony, and other artists.

25.6.– 3.7.2016
daily 11-21:00

Gerda Taro, Guernica! Almeria! Et demain?, Regards, Nr. 178, 10.6.1937 @ F/STOP
Gerda Taro, Guernica! Almeria! Et demain?, Regards, Nr. 178, 10.6.1937 @ F/STOP

f/stop In Situ: Photographic reportage in public areas of the city of Leipzig

For the first time, f/stop will extend beyond the exhibition space. In the framework of f/stop In Situ, reportages will be presented in the places where they were created. Works by Robert Capa, Margaret Bourke-White and Lee Miller from the year 1945 will be shown in public areas of the city of Leipzig. The work of Gerda Taro will also be presented for the first time in Leipzig – the city from which she fled in 1933 to live in Paris. Together with Robert Capa, she became a pioneer of modern war reportage in the course of the Spanish Civil War.

photo shot by Robert Capa in Leipzig 1945
photo shot by Robert Capa in Leipzig 1945

Robert Capa, referred to as “the greatest war photographer in the world” by the British magazine Picture Post, came to Leipzig with the advancing US troops on April 18, 1945. In Jahnallee he photographed two soldiers on a balcony with a machine gun. A few moments later one of the soldiers was dead. LIFE magazine ran a double page spread entitled, “An Episode. Americans still died.” Capa captured the moment before death, frozen in time.

Also: On the property of the German-French Education Center, works by the French photographer Gilles Raynaldy will be on display. The photographs show everyday life at a school in the Parisian suburb of Montreuil, which the artist documented over the course of several years. The photographer Andreas Langfeld and a family from Aleppo examine the role that photography played in their flight from war. This establishes a connection between the immigrant Gerda Taro and the present.

21 June–3 July
daily noon to midnight

Bike tour:
25/26 June, 2/3 July 15:00

f/stop In-Situ-Parcours:
1 July 16.00-19:00

Capa-Haus, Jahnallee 61, 04177 Leipzig

f/stop festival ticket prices

9 € / 6 €
14 € /10 €
10 person day group ticket
8 €/ 5 €
Catalog and Festival
34 € / 30 €

Get tickets at Culton, Peterssteinweg 9

Artist, curator and writer: maeshelle west-davies gleans her varied life experiences to expose a personal perspective through a multitude of mediums.

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