LOOK/13 Photography Festival

LOOK/13, one of the UK’s leading international photography festivals, is excited to announce the core programme for its second edition, launching on Liverpool’s Light Night, 17 May 2013.  Bringing together influential and established photographers, presented alongside international emerging talent, LOOK/13 will invite its dynamic line-up of artists to explore the idea of subjectivity and selfhood, summing up its central theme in the question, ‘who do you think you are?’

The festival begins with an event-packed launch weekend. Highlights include Redeye’s fifth National Photography Symposium (17 May), and PULSE (18 May), an afternoon of presentations by some of the UK’s most influential photographers, produced in collaboration with Miniclick.

LOOK/13 is proud to be collaborating with Liverpool’s most prestigious museums and galleries to exhibit a diverse programme of exhibitions and events. The Bluecoat will present work by two of the founding fathers of photography, August Sander (1876-1964) and Arthur Fellig aka Weegee (1899-1968), whose varying styles of realism and portraiture will set the scene for the entire festival and its theme. Elsewhere in the gallery, I exist (in some way), will feature work by eleven artists who explore identity in the contemporary Arab world, while Adam Lee’s Identity Documents will look at what is revealed and concealed in people’s bookshelves.

The Walker Art Gallery will host three exhibitions including a major new project by the internationally renowned photographer Rankin. Produced in collaboration with the BBC, ALIVE: In the Face of Death, will be devoted in part to newly commissioned images of people who know they are running out of time. Complementing this much-anticipated show is a body of work from the Keith Medley Archive, Double Take, featuring high-street studio portraits of Merseysiders in the 1960s. Each sitter was shot twice using the same glass-plate negative, resulting in a compellingly eerie series of duos. The final Walker Art Gallery exhibition presents early and largely unseen work by two of Britain’s best-known and much loved photographers, Tom Wood and Martin Parr. This selection, much of it shot in Merseyside in the late 1970s and early 1980s, displays early explorations, showing the photographers’ signature styles in formation.

Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool’s dedicated photography space that re-launched in 2011, presents the first UK solo exhibition by the French photographer Charles Fréger. A selection of Fréger’s portrait projects will examine the performance of group identity through a carnivalesque array of costume and ritual. The exhibition will include works from Fréger’s hugely successful ‘Wilder Mann’ photo book, which explores the mythological figure of the ‘Wild Man’. Open Eye is also proud to present the first full solo presentation of Eva Stenram’s ‘Drape’ project, featuring found erotic photos from the 1960s that Stenram has subtly manipulated and transformed into unsettling, disarming, sometimes comedic images.

The Exhibition Research Centre at the Art & Design Academy (Liverpool John Moores University) will present BLACKOUT, an international group show co-curated with artist Imogen Stidworthy, exploring the boundaries of subjectivity through video and installation works by Danica Dakic, Aya Ben Ron, Willem Oorebeek, and Dominique Hurth.

In the Victoria Gallery & Museum, Hong Kong-based photographer Kurt Tong explores the relationship between self and family in The Queen, The Chairman and I, a project that brings together objects from the photographers’ multi-faceted family history with his own photographs and writings in an installation featuring Super-8 films and a working Chinese tearoom. This will be the first full realisation of this major project.

Wolstenholme Creative Space presents Liverpool, Unfinished an evocative series of colour portraits and landscapes by Rob Bremner, shot while he was studying in Wales in the 1980s and shown here for the first time.

The Caravan Gallery will be setting up camp for the duration of the festival, with exhibitions in Liverpool One and the Museum of Liverpool, reflecting the reality and surreality of everyday life on Merseyside.

In various sites around the city Redeye, the Photography Network will present group projects by participants in Lightbox 2, an intensive professional development programme which aims to launch the careers of some of the UK’s most promising photographers.

LOOK/13 is also working with numerous partners to promote a Parallel Programme of exhibitions and events that coincide with and complement the festival. As well as a host of independent projects that respond directly to the festival, this programme includes some of the city’s leading spaces. Moyra Davey at Tate Liverpool (8 June – 6 October) will present new works conceived in Liverpool alongside existing work by the Canadian-born, New York-based photographer and filmmaker. Tate Liverpool will also be presenting, for the first time since acquisition, Barbara Kruger’s 1991/2012 work Who Owns What (Part of DLA Piper Series: Constellations, opening 3 May). The programme also includes FACT’s exhibition, The Art of Pop Video.