For the seventh year in a row, June will be devoted to photography, when Copenhagen Photo Festival celebrates photography with an impressive array of exhibitions all over Copenhagen. You can experience vibrating music photos, experimental landscape shots, a peek inside the coldest and darkest region of Russia, snapshots from the harbor of Copenhagen – and a whole lot more.
Copenhagen Photo Festival is the largest photo event in Scandinavia, and this year the profile of the festival has been sharpened further, ensuring that the best, newest, and most thought-provoking images within art and documentary photography can be experienced all over the city; in galleries, museums, on the three and a half miles of green Metro construction walls known as ‘Byens Hegn’ (‘the Hedges of the City’), as well as independent exhibition rooms. The center of the festival is Photo City, which make up a series of exhibitions curated in collaboration with the exhibition committee of the festival – Jens Erdman Rasmussen from Peter Lav Gallery, Charlotte Præstgaard Schwartz, post.doc. at the University of Southern Denmark, and Søren Pagter, head of the photo journalism program at the Danish School of Media and Journalism. This year, Photo City has been placed at different and spectacular locations, which make up a photo route from downtown to Østerbro.
Transformer station filled with photography
Centrally placed on Bremerholm in downtown Copenhagen, attendees will get to experience music and landscape photography in a former transformer station, which has never previously been used for exhibitions. This will be the location of the conclusion of the ambitious three-year photo project, “Picture the Music”, which made it possible for people to submit music photos, to then have them judged and picked by a jury consisting of photo journalist Thomas Borberg, musician Lucy Love, and founder of Copenhagen Photo Festival Rasmus Ranum. This year, the project will go out with a bang, as it will include both an auction and the publication of a coffee table book. In the five-story transformer station, people can also experience photos from three exceptionally talented young photographers; Danish-American Andreas Olesen, Danish Frej Rosenstjerne, and Italian Daniele Sambo, who each present their take on an updated version of classic landscape photography, in which the meeting between the analogue and the digital, the aesthetic, the sensuous, and the personal story is essential.
The Censored Exhibition
Following the route, you will get to the Museum Building on Kastelvej on Østerbro, which is where you can experience the Censored Exhibition, consisting of photo works selected from an open call. A jury consisting of art critic Matthias Borello, gallery owner Banja Rathnow, and photographer Trine Søndergaard has selected the photographs. This year, the festival has received about 1,200 works from 100 photographers representing 16 different countries. The final selection has been cut down to 84 works by 20 photographers. On the last day of the exhibition, the works will be auctioned off at a special closing event in collaboration with Bruun Rasmussen Auctioneers, and everyone is welcome to participate.
Photography in the villa
Continuing about a third of a mile down Østerbrogade, you will find Krausesvej, where the festival has taken over a beautiful old villa. Here, you can dive into Lars Just’s photo project from Greenland, “Voices from the Cold”, as well as the quirky artist duo PUTPUT and their colorful, surprising still life images, which are sure to make you smile. This is also where you will find the Canadian photographer Nathalie Daoust’s series, “Korean Dreams”, which offers a peek behind the walls of North Korea – the photographer has manipulated her images of the world’s most impenetrable country, giving them a dreamy and unreal expression. There will also be photo workshops for children and adults on Krausesvej, as well as talks, panel discussions, and a three-day professional workshop on curating.
Testimony from the darkness of Russia
Bremerholm has quite the scoop, as the festival is able present the Russian photographer Elena Chernyshovas captivating photos from the series “Days of Night – Nights of Day”. The photographer stayed in the mining town Norilsk in the northernmost Russia ¬– one of the world’s most polluted towns, where the life expectancy is about 10 years below the rest of the Russian population. The sun only shines three months a year, so light plays a very special role for the citizens. The everyday life in Norilsk has been documented by Chernyshova with poetry and sharpness, and it is the first time that these fascinating photos can be experienced in Denmark.
Photos at the harbor
At the harbor, you will find a special exhibition project, which has been realized as a collaboration between Copenhagen Photo Festival and the Museum of Copenhagen and with support from Kulturhavn365. The name of the exhibition is “The Harbor Then and Now”, and it is an in-depth visual examination of the harbor in a historical and current context – documented by the city’s own citizens and aligned with archival material.
The galleries, workshops, and a new communications platform
Besides the exhibitions at Photo City, Copenhagen Photo Festival 2016 will also have many other photo-related experiences to offer – galleries, exhibition rooms, and the photo schools invite everyone to see a strong selection of additional exhibitions. And there is a full event schedule with guides walks, talks, panel discussions, workshops and debates – in the three new Photo City buildings, as well as other places. This year, the festival is also putting together and all-day workshop with international and Danish researchers, experts, and photographers, which will take place at the National Photo Museum. Among the participants are artist Ebbe Stub Wittrup (DK), photographers Ulrik Heltoft (DK) and Kent Klich (SE), Professor from the University of Copenhagen Mette Sandbye, as well as photographer and Professor of Photography, University of Westminster, David Bate (UK).
Another new and ambitious element at this year’s festival is the communications platform “Look & Listen”, which gives visitors an extra dimension of experiencing the exhibited photos. By scanning the works through an app, you will be taken behind the images and be able to listen to or see the artists talk about their works.
The festival opens on Thursday the 2nd of June on Krausesvej and the Museum Building on Østerbro, and on Friday the 3rd at Bremerholm.