The Hyères International Festival of Fashion & Photography opens this weekend, including a showcase of work from ten emerging photographers.
The annual event in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in the south of France, spotlights the work of a shortlist of ten photographers, along with a parallel shortlist of ten fashion designers, at Villa Noailles, a modernist mansion in the hills above Hyères.
A jury of industry professionals has selected the final candidates from almost 800 international submissions, with choices made with a focus on festival’s ethos to “defend and praise photographic works that strive for sense, singularity, innovation and uncompromising artistic standards”.
The photo jury includes fashion photographer Steve Hiett, designer Manish Arora, New York Times photo editor Stacey Baker, catwalk sound designer Michel Gaubert, director of photography at Canadian newspaper the Globe & Mail Clare Vander Meersch, editorial director of IMA magazine Mutsuko Ota, graphic designer and founder of oodee publishing house Damien Poulain, director of photography for Le Monde’s M magazine Cathy Rémy, director of the Photographers’ Gallery Brett Rogers, photographer Oliver Sieber, and magazine consultant Andreas Wellnitz.
Over the weekend, the selected photographers will meet with prospective commissioners and collaborators, and with the jury to discuss their exhibited work and on-going portfolios. One artist will be awarded the Grand Prix du Jury Photographie for “the originality of their vision and artistic approach”, with €15k and a one year scholarship to the Photo Global residency at the New York School of Visual Arts.
The final group exhibition, (open alongside the other exhibitions until 25 May), aims to present “ten new artistic visions that will help shape the photography of tomorrow”.
Also this weekend, alongside the competition there will be conferences, concerts, and other exhibitions from former winners and established artists and designers, including Steve Hiett, Jean-Michel Bertin, Kenzo, Oliver Sieber and Marc Turlan.
The shortlisted photographers are…
Anna Grzelewska from Poland says that her interest in photography lies “in the tension between the documentary nature of all images and the story that they tell”. She presents her series Julia Wannabe, depicting her daughter growing up.
Osma Harvilahti from Finland creates work that is often abstract, with interlinking visual narratives based in the curation of colour, pattern and other visual elements. His idea is to “tell stories, not through the drama but simply on the surface of the image”.
Arnaud Lajeunie from France, uses a variety of techniques to stage creative interventions in nature to interrupt ordinary visual interpretations, whilst exploring ideas around human mediation.
Les Mélanies by Orianne Lopes from France has developed from the artist’s thoughts about the representation of the black female body in white visual culture, and through parody she aims to challenge the aesthetic and sexual stigmatization surrounding these representations.
German-born, Canadian-based Birthe Piontek presents Mimesis, inviting the viewer to consider the layering effects of self-representation. “We create, share and look at millions of images of ourselves every day, in a tireless attempt to provide tangible proof of our existence,” she says.
Virginie Rebetez from Switzerland, decontextualizes a series of veiled tombstones against a black background, originally shot in a graveyard, which become sculptures awaiting the unveiling ritual.
Highly coloured, geometric compositions make up two series by Marie Rime from Switzerland; Armures depicts women dressed in costumes made from everyday objects, and Pharma seeks to question the pharmaceutical industry, with images that represent medicine boxes.
Marleen Sleeuwits from the Netherlands constructs and deforms spaces in empty office buildings, drawing inspiration “from specific in-between spaces: interiors where we often find ourselves but are shut off, as it were, from our own consciousness”.
Charlotte Tanguy from France, presents a series taken over three years in Russia, where, unable to understand the language and cultural situations, she took photos as a means to attach herself to the place. Feeling that she was having “no linear experience”, she concentrated on forms and the variations, without a linear narrative.
Italian Lorenzo Vitturi, based in London, presents a still life series inspired by a Dalston street market, which chaotic as it may have seemed at first, revealed a certain order and harmony to him. Collecting organic and inanimate objects and debris he created and photographed sculptures, attempting to capture and communicate the essence of this unique place.