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W. Eugene Smith Exhibit More Real than Reality on View at PHotoEspaña 2008
W. Eugene Smith, Guardia Civil, Spain 1950. Center for Creative Photography, © W. Eugene Smith Archive The Heirs of W. Eugene Smith.
MADRID.- The exhibition includes over 200 images from the most emblematic series taken for Life magazine in the 1940’s and 1950’s and the projects Pittsburgh and Minamata. A full review of the series Country Doctor, Nurse Midwife, A man of Mercy and Spanish Village is made.

W. Eugene Smith is one of the main figures in humanist photography and his career centred on his obsession with the truth, resulting in passionate, idealistic, sensitive and optimistic images. As a photojournalist, between 1946 and 1954, he made some fifty projects for Life magazine, known as Photographic Essays. After having left the magazine, Smith carried out extensive independent projects such as
Pittsburgh (1955–1957), for which he took more than 10,000 photos, and Minamata (1971–1975), about the chemical contamination of the population in that Japanese island.

These two exhaustive projects are – together with the photo essays made for Life: Country Doctor, Nurse Midwife, A Man of Mercy and Spanish Village – the heart of the W. Eugene Smith. more real than reality exhibition, a comprehensive review in over two hundred photographs of the work of a creator of emotionally intense and photographically spectacular images.

W. Eugene Smith (U.S.A. 1918–1978) was self trained. At the age of nineteen, he began to collaborate with Newsweek and a year later with Life, Look, Harper’s Bazaar and The New York Times. He left Life in 1955 and joined Magnum Photos. Along with his photographic work, he was a professor at the New School for Social Research in New York. His photographs have been shown in the most important art institutions, including the MoMA in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Art Institute in Chicago and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

PHotoEspaña 2008 will base its exhibition program on the theme of Place. The Festival will include new proposals and initiatives intended for all visitors. From 4th June to 27th July, PHEO8 will host 69 exhibitions: 32 at the Official Section and 37 at the Off Festival, with works by 230 artists from different disciplines and 35 different countries.

Place is the main theme running through the artistic proposal for this edition, which will form part of the Official Section of the Festival, curated by Sérgio Mah. The artistic proposal will open its program with the guest exhibitions and will close with Public Programmes consisting of multidisciplinary activities.

The Festival will present the key works of contemporary authors such as Javier Vallhonrat, Thomas Demand, Roni Horn and Florian Maier-Aichen, as well as that of masters of photography such as W. Eugene Smith, Bill Brandt and Robert Smithson. PHotoEspaña also comes to Portugal with two exhibitions: the Museo Berardo in Lisbon will host the Utopia collective, and as part of the Allgarve 2008 Programme, the Museo de Portimão will house the works of Ignasi Aballi Cuenca will also host four exhibitions by Francesc Català-Roca, Juan López, Esteban Pastorino and Marcellvs L.

Cine PHE will run a film cycle at the Filmoteca Española devoted to Tsai Ming-Liang, the director of The Taste of Watermelon and The Hole The Complejo El Águila will be the focal point for emerging photography with the viewing of this year’s Descubrimientos PHE portfolios and exhibitions. Campus PHE Comunidad de Madrid will bring together masters of photography such as Paul Graham, Guillaume Herbaut and Simon Norfolk in Aranjuez.

Photographers and specialists such as Boris Groys, Joachim Schmid, Daniel Canogar, Pedro Meyer, Clément Chéroux and the AES+F collective will take part in Encuentros PHE, organized by Joan Fontcuberta. Fundación Canal will become a photographic stage with ¡Retrátate!, an initiative in which authors such as Isabel Muñoz, Miguel Trillo and Luis de las Alas will take pictures of the public visiting at the Fundación Canal from May 31st to June 1st. The Barrio de las Letras will be the stage for La Noche de la Fotografía on 13th June, with the participation of Andreu Buenafuente‘s group, Captura.org.

H.R.H. la Infanta Doña Elena will open PHotoEspaña on 4th June at 11:30 a.m., at the Real Jardín Botánico in Madrid.

PHotoEspaña, the International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts was founded in 1998 with the aim of finding its inspiration in contemporary society, and is now one of the most important visual arts events in the world.

Each year its exhibitions and educational and professional programs attract more than six hundred thousand people, a figure that makes it the largest and most popular of all cultural events celebrated in Spain.

PLACE AND THE EXPERIENCE OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Place will be addressed from an open and transversal angle. Sérgio Mah has proposed several exhibitions where place is tackled not as a physical and spatial concept but as something already lived, where the experience of the photographer takes on fundamental significance.

Historically, photography has been related to place. Movements like land art or genres such as site specific have laid down the need of the artist to work with space. In this way place is filled with spiritual, ethical and mythological content, and it is determined by economic, social and ecological elements as well as by the experiences taking place there. PHEO8 will show how historical and contemporary artists have tackled the matter in such different genres as street, landscape, documentary, architectural and topographic photography or even portraits. The PHotoEspaña programme includes works where the place is very closely linked to individual or collective experiences, where elements such as territoriality or globalization take on particular importance.

What distinguishes a place in physical, poetic and ideological terms? How are places lived and what are their effects? How are places connected and formed on the basis of social and political behaviour? What are the paradigmatic places of the contemporary landscape? These are all fundamental questions for current thinking and in fact, they constitute a matter for reflection. PHotoEspaña 2008 will offer a varied overview of authors and visual works related to the concept of place. The program of exhibitions will create an open approach with room for town, nature, public and private spaces, reality and fiction. In order to do this, three main points will be applied: reference locations for collective history and collective memory because of their symbolic echoes and because they refer to contemporary historical events; the main typologies of place, i.e., everyday experience in places where private, working or social life takes place and the re-definitions of the concept of place, after the emergence of spaces dependant on phenomena such as capitalism or globalization.

Place is a key issue for contemporary photography and PHotoEspaña will present a series of exhibitions where this theme is not working as a mere leitmotiv. In each exhibition in the Official Section the authors establish a close relationship with the physical or mental space which they photograph. The relationship built up by the great masters with their environment is vital to our understanding of contemporary artists’ experience of place.

PHotoEspaña is one of the largest international forums for photography, and its prestige, recognized by the most important critics, has made it one of the world's essential cultural events. The Festival is made possible thanks to the support of private and public institutions, including the Spanish Ministry of Culture, the Community of Madrid and Madrid's City Hall.

Each edition of the Festival centers on a theme, and its program is divided into the Official Section, which takes in museums and large cultural venues, and the Off Festival, which counts on the participation of art galleries and other spaces. The Official Section's exhibition agenda is divided into three parts, offering a broad overview of photography and the visual arts. Every three years a general curator develops a thematic section related to a specific topic. The section dedicated to the great masters presents in depth exhibits of the work of artists relevant to the history of photography. The third section, called Invited Projects, completes the Festival's official program with spaces dedicated to awards and Spanish and international photography collections.

PHotoEspaña is an extraordinary opportunity to see photography projects, videos and installations by the most important national and international photographers and visual artists. Throughout the Festival's various editions more than 600 exhibitions have been celebrated in the citys principal museums, exhibition spaces, art centers and galleries.

In conjunction with the exhibition agenda, the Festival offers educational and professional programs, with activities targeting different sectors of the public. Campus-workshops and master classes; Descubrimientos-the viewing of Festival portfolios; and Encuentros-debates on photography directed at professionals and emerging photographers. Workshops for children and young people, and guided tours of the exhibitions complete the Festival’s educational programs.

In addition, PhotoEspaña is a Festival that aspires to be present at street level. With that in mind, numerous activities will take place in public spaces, such as the PHotoMarathon and Photography Night.

The heart of the Festival in Madrid is located along the Paseo de Castellana, the principle avenue dividing the city in two. In addition, in recent editions the city of Cuenca has joined the Festival, offering a more intimate ambience. The Festival's growing international reputation has led to collaborations with a different country each year, made manifest in the participation of artists and other figures in cultural events undertaken between institutions in both countries. This collaborative effort, which was launched in 2007 with the participation of France, continues this year with Portugal, through a joint artistic and communications program.



Last Week News

June 3, 2008

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Florence Griswold Museum Presents Impressionist Giverny: American Painters in France, 1885-1915

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Alec Soth: Sleeping by the Mississippi on View at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Anne d'Harnoncourt, Chief Executive of the Philadelphia Museum Art, Died at Age 64

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The McNay Art Museum Reopens with New Stieren Center for Exhibitions

Give it a Rest: People at Play in American Prints and Drawings, 1890-1945 at The Detroit Institute of Arts

Ground Breakers: German Sculptures on the Grounds of the Flint Institute of Arts

Black Mirror/Espejo Negro: A Museum Installation by Pedro Lasch at The Nasher Museum of Art

Carnegie Mellon and the University of Bologna Offer First Double-Degree Masters Program in Arts and Cultural Management

Mimi Gates Announces Retirement as Director of the Seattle Art Museum

June 2, 2008

Fondation Beyeler Presents Today in Basel Fernand Léger: Paris - New York

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt Presents "Michael Sailstorfer - 10,000 Stones"

Legendary Designer Yves Saint Laurent Dies In Paris at Age 71

LISTE 08, The Young Art Fair in Basel Opens Its 13th Edition

Future Tense: Reshaping the Landscape at the Neuberger Museum of Art

Harold Cazneaux - Artist in Photography Opens at Art Gallery of New South Wales

VOLTA4 Show Opens Today In Basel With Auxiliary Projects and Events

The Michael Hoppen Gallery Presents Photographs by Ruth Orkin

VMFA Receives $75,000 Grant From NEA To Install Expanded Contemporary Galleries

Ohio's Dayton Art Institute Displays The Work of Ken Butler

Green Cardamom Gallery Presents Drawn from Life

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Converging Gestures of Lines and Texture Opens

Allegro Galería Presents Thresholds - Heriberto Mora / Maria Navas

Anne Tabachnick: Works from the Sixties and Seventies

Sendak's 80th Birthday Bash: I'll Be You and You Be Me at the Rosenbach Museum

June 1, 2008

Renaissance Portrait Exhibit Presented at The Museo Nacional Del Prado in Madrid

Dallas Museum of Art Presents Making It New: The Art and Style of Sara and Gerald Murphy

Cassab - Landscapes from The Collection at Art Gallery of New South Wales

Kunstmuseum Basel Presents today Robert Therrien - Works on Paper

Althea Thauberger: Chelsea Girls at The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Hysteria: New Art from Finland Opens at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

Jonathan Green: The Artist & The Collector Opens at MB Art Museum

Prints and Photographs Bring More than $2.7-Million at Bonhams & Butterfields in May

Pandemonium in the English Landscape STOT21stCplanB

Minneapolis Institute of Arts hires new curator of African, Oceanic, and Native American Art

Paul Thek's Most Comprehensive Retrospective Exhibit at Phoenix-Hallen in Hamburg

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May 31, 2008

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Above-The-Fold: Ayse Erkmen, Ceal Floyer and David Lamelas Set to Open at The Kunstmuseum in Basel

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William Massie: An American House 08 at Cranbrook Art Museum

The Belgian Museum Opens New Wing Beside the Carmelite Convent

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Association of Art Museum Curators Announces the Recipients of the 2007 Annual Awards for Excellence

Exhibition of Silver Jewelry Designed by Legendary Modernist Art Smith on View at Brooklyn Museum

Jim Campbell: Home Movies Opens at The Berkeley Art Museum

Art Gallery of Ontario has unveiled a distinctive new logo

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May 30, 2008

Jeff Koons: First Major US Museum Survey in Fifteen Years at Chicago's MCA

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Bill Brandt: Shadows and Substance to Open at The Akron Art Museum

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Laurie Rolland Installation at Burlington Art Centre in Canada

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First International Meeting of Photography Centres in Spain

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Metropolitan Museum Explores Relationship of Art and Science during First Annual World Science Festival

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May 29, 2008

International Dealers Have $1.6 Billion of Art on Offer at the Moscow World Fine Art Fair

Rufino Tamayo's $7.2 Million Trovador Sets New World Auction Record for Latin American Art

The Institute of Contemporary Art Presents Work by Internationaly Renowned Sculptor Anish Kapoor

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Warhol: Larger Than Life Set to Open at The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900 at Tate Gallery Liverpool

Utopia/Dystopia: The Photographs of Geoffrey James at The National Gallery of Art in Canada

MoMA Presents The Bourne Trilogy of Thrillers as Part of Inaugural World Science Festival

Charlotte Houman's Waterdreams at the Museum of Decorative Art in Copenhagen

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Sotheby's to Hold its African and Oceanic Art Sale on June 11 in Paris

In and Around the Garden: Perspectives East and West on View at The Ackland Art Museum

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