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PHotoEspaña 2009: Festival of Photography Offers 74 Exhibitions at Twelfth Edition
Gerhard Richter, Privatsammlung, published in the book "Gerhard Richter: Overpainted". Hatje Cantz Verlag, Ostfildern, 2008. ©Gerhard Richter.

MADRID.- PHotoEspaña 2009 will take place from 3 June to 26 July. The Festival of Photography and Visual Arts will offer at this twelfth edition a proposal comprising 74 exhibitions, 31 in the Official Section, 7 in other venues and 35 in the Off Festival, spread in a total of 60 exhibition spaces such as museums, art galleries, art centres and exhibition rooms. 259 artists and creators of 40 nationalities will participate at the Festival.

The Official Section of PHE09 will develop the concept of The everyday. The Festival will include exhibitions by artists belonging to different generations, geographic origins and artistic and conceptual tendencies. It will preferably focus on recent productions, but will also try to reveal historic times where connection between photography and the everyday has acquired special importance. The Official Section will be completed by Historical exhibitions and Grand Masters, and it will also open its doors to invited projects. Meanwhile the Off Festival will bring together the best exhibition projects by the main art galleries in Madrid.

This new edition of PHotoEspaña consolidates Madrid, Lisbon and Cuenca as host cities. In this edition, the Museu Colecção Berardo in Lisbon will participate in the Festival with two exhibitions; Cuenca, PHotoEspaña host city by its third consecutive year, will host OpenPHoto, an exhibition programme consisting of proposals coming from embassies and foreign institutions of 8 countries; and for the fist time this year, Alcala de Henares will join the Festival hosting photography workshops of Campus PHE. Fundación Canal will organized the contest El Agua de Madrid (Water of Madrid) and workshops for children and youths.

PHE09 will deepen into programmes with pedagogical and professional aims. A novelty in this edition will be Festival Campus PHE Edición de Libros, a programme devoted to publishing projects which will take place at the CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, in Mostoles (Madrid), joining Campus PHE Grand Masters, photography workshops and master classes that will be held in Alcalá de Henares. Besides, Descubrimientos PHE expands its scope and organizes portfolio reviews in Lima and Mexico City. For the first time, PHotoEspaña and the Banco Santander Foundation will organize an educational programme for the youth, in which 198 students of 6 Madrid's high schools will participate. The programmes for general public, which are addressed to people of every age and education level with an interest in photography, will include guided tours of the Festival exhibitions, workshops for children and young people as well as family programmes to allow families to enjoy PHotoEspaña all together.

PHotoEspaña faces a new challenge in 2009: the international promotion of the Festival as per PHotoEspaña International. This ambitious project, which will not be carried out during June and July, the regular dates of PHotoEspaña, promotes the spread of exhibitions and professional programs of PHotoEspaña beyond Spanish boundaries. The exhibition programme of PHE09 will include two exhibition venues outside Spain: Portugal will host again some of the exhibitions of the Official Section of the Festival and, for the fist time, Italy will also be international venue. The Italian programme, created with the support of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Regional Government of Madrid as part of the Made in Mad programme, will be carried out in Milan starting in October. The internationalization of the Festival will be also applied to programmes with pedagogical and professional aims. PHotoEspaña will allow the viewing of portfolios Descubrimientos PHE Madrid, Lima and Mexico City with the support of the Cervantes Institute and the AECID (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation).

The Everyday as material for photography
Sérgio Mah, general curator of PHE09, suggests an exhibition programme which will focus on the idea of The Everyday, presenting artists and visual works that keep a special relation with the experience and perception of daily life, with that which occurs around us and marks us, our life experiences, our most common and intimate gestures. The Official Section will also be curated by Alejandro Castellote, Jean-François Chevrier, François Delvoye, María Iovino, Charlotta Kotik, Claudia Küssel, Vangelis Ioakimidis, Markus Heinzelmann, Oliva Maria Rubio, Jan Mlcoch, Rodrigo Moura, Emilia Tavares, Thomas Seelig, Enrica Vigano and Paul Wombell.

Various are the reasons for the election of the main theme. In first place, the intention of answering and questioning some of the contemporary art and culture current tendencies, which focus on images that reproduce and give a new shape to everyday reality. During last years, photography, film, video art, television and, in a more heterodox way, Internet, experience visual suggestions that explore the banal and routine movement of the everyday. Documentary images, instant photography aesthetics, recycling of public and private files, sequence shots and real time images... These are some of the tendencies that start to be noted in the art and current communication world. They are the symptoms of a new interest for something authentically banal, recognizable and real.

On the other hand, and due to these last tendencies, which fix its attention on the world and the others, there are new movements that pay attention to documentary models and style. In this context, it is of great importance the persistence and updating of an image culture that, along the modern and contemporary history, defined a close relation with the simple gestures, events, experiences and routine objects of our daily life. This is a photography's characteristic, the link with the everyday by means of documentary and metaphorical attitude.

The PHotoEspaña programme gathers authors and visual projects that base their work on all these topics in relation to the everyday, which more than a theme is, above all, a starting point for some of the most crucial matters of our times. PHE09 suggests turning back to the basics, unaware of the most spectacular art, and looking for themes that are closer to the individual and the world around him.

Photographic interpretations of The Everyday
The Fernan-Gomez Theatre. The Art Centre / Banco Santander Foundation will present the exhibition The 70's. Photography and everyday life, an exhibition that intends to draw a retrospective look over some twenty authors who contributed to define this decade like one of the most important and most fruitful periods over photography most recent history. Works of artists like David Goldblatt, Christian Boltanski, Anders Petersen, Cindy Sherman, Malick Sidibé, Eugene Richards or Sophie Calle among others, make us think about aesthetic approaches of a period where art and life are very much related. A decade where a special concern about the everyday was awoken, the personal poetical, the intimate landscape, and non conventional documentary approaches.

Telefonica Foundation will show for the first time in Spain the photography artwork of the German photographer Gerhard Richter. Overpainted photographs is a series produced over more than 20 years that gathers more than 400 images belonging to private collectors and to the artist's own collection. Richter uses pictures that aren't welcome in his personal album and he covers them with paint to create new images, establishing a fruitful dialogue between paint and photography.

The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid will host The Atlas Group (1989-2004). A Walid Raad's project which documents the contemporary history of Lebanon. Collection of documents comprising The Atlas Group archive is a mixture of ceded, found or created samples by the group, whose authenticity, authorship and date are always in doubt. In the exhibition, by means of pictures, films, videos and a sculpture, Raad creates and produces real and fictitious documents of the daily life in Lebanon, all this with humour and creativity.

At the Royal Botanical Gardens, Larry Sultan & Mike Mandel present for the first time in Spain Evidence, and artistic project consisting on a compilation of documentary photographs, among which it is worth mentioning numerous crime, forensic and legal material, whose aim was purely practical and documental as pieces of evidence. Also, PHotoEspaña presents the work of the young Spanish artist Sara Ramo, a series of videos and photographs produced recently in which the artist performs apparently banal actions but full of meaning in the domestic space or in sceneries created by her.

The Circulo de Bellas Artes will exhibit at the Sala Picasso a selection of works developed by Patrick Faigenbaum. Photographs 1974-2008 gathers works ranging from his debut's portraits of the Italian aristocracy to his photography series of European cities as Prague, Bremen or Barcelona, where city history is shown as well as the link between past and present. Sala Minerva will show the work of Zhao Liang. This Chinese artist presents the video City Scenes, which is a detailed observation or social reality of his country throughout scenes taking place in Beijing's streets.

In gallery Abierto X Obras, at Matadero Madrid, there will be an installation created by Spanish artist living in the US, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle. The project comprises two videos where, with the use of a night vision cameras, the artist introduces brutal elements, close to security tools, in sensual and tender situations, confronting beauty and danger. Also in Matadero Madrid, Back Home. Video Works, the audiovisual work of Pedro Costa, a rapprochement to reality without concessions, getting close to its most heartbreaking and marginal elements.

The Sala Canal de Isabel II will present Glory Days, an exhibition of Russian photographer Sergey Bratkov organized by the Fotomuseum Winterthur and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Regional Government of Madrid. 140 photographs and 4 videos showing the work that this critical and committed artist has been performing from 1990, portraying a historic crucial stage of the XX Century: the fall of the Soviet Union.

In Sala Alcala 31 the exposition by Annie Leibovitz. A Photographer’s life 1990-2005, organized by the Brooklyn Museum of New York in October 2006, with the sponsorship of American Express and collaboration of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Regional Government of Madrid. The exhibition comprises 220 works, of which it is worth mentioning portraits of famous people like Nicole Kidman, Brad Pitt or Demi Moore, tailor-made works, like the one on Sarajevo in the 90's and photographs of moments of this private life.

The Casa de America will present Mirante, an exhibition of 35 pictures of some of the most recent series of Mauro Restiffe like Inauguration (2009), Vertigem (2008) or Red Light Portraits (2006). In his black and white, wide format photographs he develops, with documentary view, themes like urban life, space and architecture.

The Filmoteca Española will host Cine PHE, a film cycle sponsored by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Regional Government of Madrid, and devoted to Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa. The cycle reviews the fundamental filmography of the director, considered a pioneer after having destroyed limits between documental and fiction. A sangue (The Blood) (1989), Casa de lava (Down to Earth) (1994), Ossos (Bones) (1997), or No cuarto de Vanda (In Vanda's Room) (2000), are some of the titles which will be shown in the Cine Doré.

Everyday life in Grand Master's photography
The ICO Collection Museum will house the exhibition of Dorothea Lange, The Crucial Years. The exposition has been produced by Fundacion ICO and is organized by the foundation and PHotoEspaña. It offers nearly 140 photographs of an essential stage for Lange, from the 30's to the 40's, period in which she documented projects of the Farm Security Administration portraying the difficult situation of her country at that time, which turned into the prelude to the prosperous 50's. Exhibition will also gather photographs from the project War Relocation Authority carry out in the Japanese American internments during World War II and urban scenes of San Francisco and New York. In every stage, her photography is humanist. It has a mature style, she knows how to frame important figures among the crowd, using resources of the New Vision to create powerful images, many of them are much prettier than what could be expected given it documentary nature.

Sala Goya of Circulo de Bellas Artes will host the work of the Czech prolific artist Jindrich Styrsky, On the Needles of these Days. Nearly 60 pictures of the creative phase of the artist, developed in the 30s, considered a great surrealism's contribution to modern photography.

The BBVA will house in Sala de Exposiciones Azca Ugo Mulas's work: about a hundred black and white images showing innovation fine skills of an artist known as an excellent portraitist who has taken pictures to important art figures in New York during a period of artistic explosion, the 70's.

The Museo de Arte Contemporaneo will host the anthological exhibition of Bartolome Ros, Borders of Africa, presenting pictures taken in the Spanish protectorate of Morocco. Visitors will be able to see photographs of Alfonso XIII and his family in the protectorate, also of Franco and Spanish Legion founder, Millan Astray, as well as images of the ordinary life in the army during the time immediately before the revolt of the Spanish army against the Second Republic.

PHotoEspaña in Portugal: Mabel Palacin and Cristobal Hara PHotoEspaña will have again Lisbon as venue of two exhibitions of the Official Section. The Museu Colecção Berardo will have an anthological exhibition of Cristobal Hara gathering about a hundred images making clear author's relation with the concept of the everyday during all his professional trajectory. The exposition includes images of series like Lances de aldea (Village Lances) (1992), Vanitas (1998) and Contranatura (Against Nature) (2006), as well as works of recent production. Meanwhile, Mabel Palacin will present a photography series and a video, Hinterland, produced specifically for the Festival, and where she stresses in image's double nature and reconsideration of photography, due to his new condition within the digital universe. The exhibition will be completed by La distancia correcta (The right distance) (2002-2003).

OpenPHoto in Cuenca
Cuenca will be PHotoEspaña host city by its third consecutive year and this occasion the city will be the venue of OpenPHoto, a selection of suggested exhibitions coming from embassies and foreign institutions. This initiative is sponsored by Cuenca's City Council, Cuenca's Provincial Deputation, Consorcio Ciudad de Cuenca, Cuenca Capital Cultural Europea 2016 and Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha. It will turn Cuenca in an international meeting point, opening a section completely oriented to foreign countries. 8 will be the countries participating at this edition: Colombia, Belgium, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania and United Kingdom.

The Escuela de Arte Jose Maria Cruz Novillo will show the proposal of the British Council, Clasroom Portraits, by Julian Germain. A group of collective portrays made up in schools of around the world.

The Fundacion Antonio Perez will host BlowUp. An image collective, on behalf of Le Botanique. Community Wallonia-Brussels Cultural Centre. The exhibition, compounded of photographs, projections and documents of the Belgian photographers group, Blowup, has as objective to create a discussion and position space with respect the practice of photography, aesthetics and rigor. It will be shown, as well, the proposal from Istituto Italiano di Cultura called, Confronted Territories, by photographer Franco Fontana, an artist who has worked with photography aesthetics properties creating abstract compositions. He has also photographed the urban and human landscape of the metropolises.

The Fundacion Antonio Saura. Casa Zavala will host Joshua Benoliel (1873-1932). Press Photographer, an anthological exhibition presented by the Instituto Camoes and Portuguese Embassy, which discovers the work of one of the pioneers in Portuguese photojournalism of the beginning of the XX century. In the same venue Contratexts will be shown. This is an exhibition organized by Colombian Embassy in Spain and it connects for the first time four of the most significant contemporary artists of this country: Oscar Munoz, Jose Alejandro Restrepo, Miguel Angel Rojas and Fernell Franco. Finally, the proposal of the Royal Netherlands Embassy: Pages, A new generation of photo books from The Netherlands, a new exhibition presenting a revitalization of photography books, that are not longer reserved to acclaimed photographers after Internet arrival and phenomena like desktop publishing.

The Museo de Semana Santa will host the exposition Reconstruction by the Romanian artist Iosif Király, thanks to the initiative of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Madrid. In this project the author researches about how he remembers and forget persons, places and events by means of photography compounded by different perspectives.

As per the Aula Cultural UCLM, it will host Topos: Nuances of Spaces by Nikos Markou. The exhibition, produced and run by the Photography Museum of Thessaloniki, participates at OpenPHoto with the support of the Greece Embassy in Spain and presents a vision of Greece which is far from traditional stereotypes.

Besides, Cuenca will gather simultaneous activities as workshops, meetings and conferences where photographers as well as curators of OpenPHoto Cuenca's exhibitions will participate.

The Best Photography Books of the Year at Matadero Madrid
Matadero Madrid will show the exhibition The Best Photography Books of the Year, a collection by which the Festival remarks the important function of the publishing industry as a means to promote photography. It will gather nearly 100 books selected as finalists for the twelfth edition of this prize.

Emerging photography in The Aguila Complex and Instituto Cervantes
The Aguila Complex will be again the focal point for emerging photography with the viewing of Descubrimientos PHE Madrid portfolios. Besides, it will host the collective exhibition Descubrimientos PHE09, with works of 70 finalists of the viewing in Madrid and the individual exhibition of the winner of the last edition of the contest, Yann Gross. His work Horizonville analyses the theme of identity by means of inhabitants of an industrial town of the Swiss Rhone river valley, where they are fascinated by the American way of life.

For the first time, the Instituto Cervantes will host Resilence, a selection of participating works of the reviewings performed in Mexico and Lima. Only 10 artist among the participants of Descubrimientos PHE Lima, Mexico have been selected by curator Claudi Carreras. The exhibition turns into a tour through the current photographic in Latin America and it will route during 2010 through the different centres of the Cervantes Institute outside Spain.

Encuentros PHE: Relation between photography and literature
Encuentros PHE: VII Debates on Photography, organized by PHotoEspaña and the Ministry of Culture, will be directed by photographer Ferdinando Scianna and writer Antonio Anson. During three days, from 4 to 6 June, the auditorium of the Ministry of Culture will gather about twenty experts who will analyse relation between photography and literature: how images and texts interact from the creative point of view, stressing on the decisive role that photography has performed in modern literature.

Campus PHE Comunidad de Madrid in Móstoles and Alcalá de Henares
PHotoEspaña and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Regional Government of Madrid will run Campus PHE Edición de libros and Campus PHE Grand Masters. Campus PHE Edición de Libros, programme for editorial projects, will take place at CA2M Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo (Mostoles) from 23 April to 25 April 2009 and intends to advise professionals on edition, design and general concept of his book projects. Participants will receive assessment on behalf of editor Michael Mack, designer Fernando Gutierrez, graphic editor Chema Conesa and photographer Martin Parr. Meanwhile, from 16 to 24 June Campus PHE Grand Masters will gather Roger Ballen, Patrick Faigenbaum, Jim Goldberg, Angel Marcos, Rosangela Renno, Stefan Ruiz, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Stephen Shore and Neil Stewart. Each of them will be the professor of photography workshops comprised of 15 students in each group.

Educative Programme The 70's. Photography and everyday life
To mark the occasion of exhibition The 70's. Photography and everyday life PHotoEspaña and Banco Santander Foundation started an educative programme in February. This programme is addressed to school groups of students from 16 to 18 years old. Six educative centres in Madrid will participate in an initiative that pretends approach the youth to contemporary photography. The programme will welcome 200 students of schools such as American School of Madrid, British Council School, Colegio Nuestra Señora de Montserrat, Colegio Lourdes Fuhem, IES Grande Covian and IES Ramiro de Maeztu.

Photography workshops and contest in the Fundacion Canal
Fundacion Canal and PHotoEspaña will organize the photography contest El agua de Madrid (Water of Madrid). The announcement of the contest is open to everyone and it welcomes participants to send their water pictures through A committee will make a selection that will be exposed from 12 June in the gardens of the Fundacion Canal. Besides, the last weekend in May, Fundacion Canal will host photography workshops for children and young people so that they get familiarised with concept and principles of photography. The programme will include the participation of photographers Rosa Muñoz, Laura Torrado and Ciuco Gutierrez.

Recorridos Camper: guided tours and family workshops
PHotoEspaña and Camper allow PHotoEspaña visitors to discover some of the most representative expositions of this edition of the Festival. Guided visits are free and take 90 minutes approximately. They will take place on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 5 to 27 June. The Festival will offer the possibility to organize tailor-made tours and also for school groups. Besides, PHotoEspaña extend its programmes for families. During four Sundays of June, families will be able to go through exhibitions of the Festival and complete the visit with small activities and workshops.

PHotoEspaña is also held in the street
The street programme of PHotoEspaña will have its peak point on 19 June, a day with a very long activity programme starting at 18.00h. until early morning. One more year, PHotoMaraton Canon will start in Fundacion Canal and will give the go to La noche de la fotografía, a festive night which will continue in squares of the Barrio de las Letras with showings in public spaces, music, DJs and alive performances. At midnight, in the Plaza de Santa Ana, presenter, actor and scripwriter Antonio Muñoz de Mesa will present the prize-giving ceremony of PHotoMaraton Canon. Besides, photography lovers will have a unique opportunity to acquire the most significant publications of national and international publishing houses in the Feria del Libro de Fotografia, which will be out of the Fernan-Gomez Theatre. The specialized publications available will be of publishing houses as Steidl, Phaidon, Aperture or Trolley Books, among others.

Official PHE09 Awards
Each PHotoEspaña edition highlights some of best careers and contributions to photography world, as well as the best exhibitions of the festival, with 8 awards. PHotoEspaña Baume & Mercier Award, consisting of 12,000 euros for the purchase of works and an exclusive trophy by Eduardo Arroyo; Bartolome Ros Award for the most brilliant professional career in photography, consisting of 12,000 euros; Descubrimientos PHE Epson Award, whose winner will have another chance to exhibit at the next PHotoEspaña edition; Room Mate Hotels Revelation Award, consisting of 8.000€ for the acquisition of work, to a young photographer under 35; Best Photography Book of the Year Award (for both national and international categories) and the Outstanding Publishing House of the Year Award; Off Festival Saab Award, for the best organized exhibition by an Art Gallery consisting of 8.000 euros for the acquisition of works; and People's Choice M2-El Mundo Award, judged by the visitors to the Festival for the best exhibition; and the PHotoEspaña OjodePez Award for Human Values, awarded to the best photo-documentary report submitted to the contest highlighting solidarity, ethics, justice or effort., one space for photography all year around increases its contents to improve its reputation as a communication space open to new stories and photography and audiovisual approaches. PHotoEspaña web portal provides photography updates and analysing the various disciplines, like fashion photography or photojournalism, and looking into great photographers, those belonging to photography history and those emerging talents. PHETV broadcasts exclusive interviews with photographers and professionals of the medium; Portfolio shows exclusive image galleries; Dossier contains unpublished texts by authors such as Graciela Iturbide, Anders Petersen or Joan Fontcuberta; and a guest firm writes monthly its opinions and experiences in the Blog, which has already been used by Nicolas Combarro or Jamie Isaia. The PHotoBlog contest completes the offer of PHotoBlog is an interactive space where photography amateurs can upload photos opting for various prizes.

Master PHotoEspaña
PHotoEspaña and the Universidad Europea de Madrid have joined forces (both experience and infrastructures) to set up a programme aimed to train professionals in cultural industries. The Master PHotoEspaña en Fotografia: Teoria y Proyectos Artisticos is divided in theoretical and technical modules of more than 500 hours. Lessons will be given by an international staff of professionals and lecturers specialized in cultural administration, university training, politics, public administrations, private company, design, audiovisual communication, publicity and marketing as well as art, critique and creation. The Master PHotoEspaña en Fotografia will provide photographers and professionals with the fundamental knowledge for the comprehension of image. All the necessary last-generation photographic and audiovisual material. The programme will be completed by professional traineeships in companies of the industry and outstanding public and private institutions.

PHE Publications
PHotoEspaña 2009 publishes the catalogue The Everyday, containing the most relevant issues of the theme of the Festival based on a selection of images of the participating artists, as well as a group of texts signed by general curator of PHE09, Sergio Mah and authors like David Campany, Christoph Ribbat and Jose Manuel Cuesta Abad. To mark the occasion of PHotoEspaña exhibitions, 4 art centres will accompany their exhibitions with a catalogue that gathers the most highlighted images as well as essays and reference texts. These are Overpainted photographs, Gerhard Richter; The 70's. Photography and everyday life; Dorothea Lange. The Crucial Years and Bartolomé Ros. PHotoEspaña also publishes three volumes that are a very useful tool to better follow the Festival: the Guides PHE09, Descubrimientos PHE and OpenPhoto Cuenca. These publications will be available at bookshops and official selling points of the Festival.

PHotoEspaña | Gerhard Richter | Madrid | Sérgio Mah | David Goldblatt | Christian Boltanski | Anders Petersen | Cindy Sherman | Malick Sidibé | Eugene Richards |

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June 3, 2009

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