The exhibition opening marathon of the 17th KAUNAS PHOTO festival rippled across the city of Kaunas and culminated with the announcement of the winners of the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2020 Award. Out of ten photographic series that made to the finals, “Cronostasi”, created by the Italian duo of artists Chiara Panariti and Gianfranco Ferraro, was unambiguously chosen as the winner by both the international jury panel of photography experts and the joint commission of the festival KAUNAS PHOTO and Kaunas Photography Gallery. The winners received the main prize of the competition KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2020 – a personal exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery during the festival KAUNAS PHOTO and a 2500 EUR monetary prize. The open competition KAUNAS PHOTO STAR has been organized since 2010 by the festival KAUNAS PHOTO aiming to honor the future stars of photography.
In a series of fifty photographs, Chiara Panariti and Gianfranco Ferraro captured the life in Milan during the COVID-19 quarantine. The artists, who captured the everyday moments of the people of Milan in their windows and balconies, describe their project “Cronostasi” as an intimate and universal search for a renewed perception of time. “By observing and looking at people in photos, we were able to compare our own and others’ time, which has become a unit of measurement of what has happened and is still happening in the world,” the authors relate their experience.
The artists, who were unable to participate in the exhibition opening in Lithuania due to the ongoing pandemic, presented their work to the audience at Kaunas Photography Gallery in a pre-recorded video. Stefano M. Lanza, an associate professor at Vytautas Magnus University, born and raised in Milan and living in Kaunas for many years, helped to take a closer look at the work “Cronostasi”. He described the series as “a right approach to a wrong situation”. “It is like sharing the same destiny, the same fate, and how people react to such a complex and unexpected situation, ” Stefano M. Lanza shared his thoughts as he looked at the photos.
10 finalists from 8 countries of the world were running for the grand prize of the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR competition: Dillon Marsh (South Africa) “Diamonds Aren’t Forever”, Lina Margaitytė & Marius Krivičius (Lithuania) “Temporarily Open”, Guillem Vidal (Spain) “Forgotten playground”, Mikhail Lebedev (Russia) “Restaurateurs by chance”, Bruno Alencastro (Brazil) “obs-cu-ra”, Dovilė Dagienė (Lithuania) “Plant Memory / Wooden Synagogues”, Hannes Jung (Germany) “The Wolf Is Present”, Arne Piepke (Germany) “Anecdotes from an unfamiliar Land”, Michał Adamski (Poland) “I dyed my hair again”, Chiara Panariti & Gianfranco Ferraro (Italy) “Cronostasi”. The photographers followed the exhibition opening marathon and the announcement of the winner of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award virtually – watching the live streaming videos, which can be viewed by everyone interested the official Facebook page of the festival KAUNAS PHOTO.
The works of all finalists of the 17th KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s competition are displayed at four outdoor venues of Kaunas: Chechnya Square, Kalniečiai Park, the square next to State Tax Inspectorate in Žemieji Šančiai and at the foot of Žaliakalnis funicular; and at six indoor venues: Kaunas Photography Gallery, Kaunas City Museum Folk Music Branch, Kaunas Public Library of Vincas Kudirka – Department of Youth, Art and Music, Kaunas Cultural Centre of Various Nations, Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum, VMU Multifunctional Center for Studies and Research. The program of the festival can be found here. Further news and updates on the festival program will be announced.
KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest-running annual photographic festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. Founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004, it’s been organized by the NGO “Šviesos raštas”. KAUNAS PHOTO is a member of the “Festival of Light” organization. The festival KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.
Sponsors: Kaunas city municipality, EPSON,
Informational sponsor: LRT
Partners: Kaunas Photography Gallery, Kaunas City Museum, Kaunas Municipal Vincas Kudirka Public Library, Kaunas Cultural Centre of Various Nations, Maironis Lithuanian Literature Museum, Vytautas Magnus University.
Sponsor of the outdoor exhibitions: SP “Kauno želdiniai”