“KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Finalists” exhibition opening day
On Friday, September 6, 2019, “KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Finalists” exhibition parts were opened, one after another, across five venues in Kaunas old town. The authors who attended the opening talked about the ideas and creative processes of their exhibited works.
Following the votes of an international Jury panel, 8 Finalists have been selected from the Open Call of the 16th edition of KAUNAS PHOTO festival:
Kai Löffelbein (Germany) “Ctrl-X, a topography of e-waste” Maxime Matthys (Belgium) “2091 : The Ministry of Privacy” – The Winner Christopher Sims (USA) “Theater of War: The Pretend Villages of Iraq and Afghanistan” Samuel W. J. Fordham (UK) “C-R92/BY” Marko Zink (Austria) “Mauthausen – The Eradication of Memories” John Angerson (UK) “On this Day” Agata Wieczorek (Poland) “Simulation Centers” Paulo Simão (Portugal) “Goodbye Pyongyang”
The exhibition is on display until October 6 at Kaunas Cultural Centre of Various Nations, Kaunas Public Library of Vincas Kudirka – Department of Youth, Art and Music, Kaunas City Museum Folk Music Branch, gallery “Meno parkas” and Kaunas Photography Gallery (KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Winner’s exhibition).
KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest-running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. Since its first edition in 2004, it’s been organized by the NGO “Šviesos raštas” and is regarded to be one of the most important continuous art events in the country. KAUNAS PHOTO is a member of “Festivals of Light” organization. The founder and the director of the festival is Mindaugas Kavaliauskas.
KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Winner – Maxime Matthys
On September 6, 2019, during the inauguration days of the 16th KAUNAS PHOTO festival, five parts of the exhibition “KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Finalists” were opened one after another in Kaunas old town. The exhibition openings were attended by the authors who presented their exhibited works and talked about their ideas and creative processes. At the end of the itinerary, the Winner of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award was disclosed – Belgian visual artist and photographer Maxime Matthys. His series “2091: The Ministry of Privacy” is exploring the mechanism of facial recognition technologies used by the Chinese government to monitor and oppress the inhabitants of the Xinjiang region. This series reveals the intrusiveness and the danger of this invisible technology, while documenting and paying tribute to what remains of these communities’ vibrant culture, before its planned disappearance. The resulting photographs blur the borders between reality and virtuality, but also embody, in the same picture, a glimpse of the future and the ruins of the past. The Winner of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR competition received a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery and a 2500 EUR monetary prize.
During the opening of the exhibition, Maxime Matthys expressed gratitude to the festival for the opportunity to present this little-discussed topic, shared his ideas behind the project “2091: The Ministry of Privacy” and related some of his experiences while developing it. While traveling and photographing in China, the author said that he was constantly tracked, arrested a total of 7 times, and his photographs were being inspected.
According to the author, for the past 2 years, China has been conducting a massive crackdown against Muslim-minority communities in its vast western Xinjiang region. Some of the most advanced surveillance technologies, such as facial recognition and DNA collection are being massively deployed in the region so as to monitor every aspect of the inhabitant’s life.
M. Matthys travelled to Kashgar, one of the last bastions of the Uyghur culture in Xinjiang, and probably the most monitored city of the region, to try to document the way the government turned technologies into tools of repression.
Prior to his departure, he developed a facial recognition software in collaboration with William Attache, a French IT engineer. The software they developed is similar to that used by the Chinese government, particularly in the Xinjiang region to track its inhabitants. They programmed the software to recognize the people in a photograph and to directly draw the biometric information about the faces of the people that appear in the photographs, exactly as it is happening inside the surveillance cameras. Depending on the technology, some are displayed using red dots — called facial landmarks — others using Delaunay diagrams, an efficient alternative for mapping faces.
M. Matthys then began to photograph the daily lives of the Uyghurs and the other minorities under threat, without having to focus on the surveillance system itself. Back in his hotel room, he uploaded the pictures into the facial recognition software, which automatically recognized and drew the respective biometric facial information of the citizens in the photographs.
Thanks to the sponsor Hikvision.lt, the exhibition “2091: The Ministry of Privacy” in Kaunas Photography Gallery features an installation similar to the surveillance system used by the Chinese government, and live footage can be seen on a big screen set up right among the photographs.
Maxime Matthys was born in 1995 in Brussels, Belgium. He studied photography at the Toulouse school of photography and design in 2015 and photojournalism in Paris in 2017. After working for the press industry, he realized he was more interested in including the viewer into a thinking process and allowing him to recreate his own story. His work focuses on the way technologies are affecting our daily life and are shifting our perception of reality. While exploring new forms of narrative in photography, he keeps documenting the important issues that are shaping our future. Winner of international awards, his work has notably been showcased at the European House of Photography (Paris), Camando Design school (Paris), at international festivals in Canada, Indonesia and France and published in Le Monde, Médiapart, Libération, Fisheye Magazine, amongst others.
KAUNAS PHOTO STAR tradition started in 2010, awarding the best participant of portfolio reviews with a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery and paying respect to a potential future star of photography. In 2018 KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award gained a new tradition of staging an exhibition of all Finalists, after selecting them by the votes of an international Jury panel. The works of the highest-ranked finalists are exhibited in a joint exhibition, and the winner – at Kaunas Photography Gallery. The winner also receives a cash prize.
Following the votes of an international Jury panel, 8 Finalists have been selected in KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 competition. Although KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award competition is open to a variety of themes, styles, genres and approaches to photography, most of the entries featured this year’s festival theme “Digital-Virtual-Real”. The prevailing documentary photography genre invites to focus on processes, consequences of digitized lifestyle, data flow, communication, cyber-crime and -security, machine learning, surveillance, automation, dangers and fragile borders.
The works of the 8 finalists can be visited until October 6 in the exhibition “KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Finalists” distributed across five venues in Kaunas old town:
Kaunas Photography Gallery (Vilniaus St. 2) – Maxime Matthys (Belgium) “2091 : The Ministry of Privacy”;
Gallery „Meno Parkas“ (Rotušės Sq. 27) – Kai Löffelbein (Germany) “Ctrl-X, a topography of e-waste”, Agata Wieczorek (Poland) “Simulation Centers” and Samuel W. J. Fordham (UK) “C-R92/BY”;
Kaunas City Museum Folk Music Branch (L. Zamenhofo St. 12) – John Angerson (UK) “On this Day” and Paulo Simão (Portugal) “Goodbye Pyongyang”;
Kaunas Public Library of Vincas Kudirka – Department of Youth, Art and Music (A. Mapu St. 18) – Marko Zink (Austria) “Mauthausen – The Eradication of Memories”;
Kaunas Cultural Centre of Various Nations (Šv. Gertrūdos St. 58) – Christopher Sims (USA) “Theater of War: The Pretend Villages of Iraq and Afghanistan”.
KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest-running annual photographic festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. Maintaining its strong international character, KAUNAS PHOTO is a platform of priemieres of emerging talents. Since its first edition in 2004, it’s been organized by the NGO „Šviesos raštas“ and is regarded to be one of the most important continuous art events in the country. KAUNAS PHOTO is a member of „Festivals of Light“ organization. The founder and the director of the festival is Mindaugas Kavaliauskas.
Finalists Announced – KAUNAS PHOTO 2019 Open Call & KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award
The call closed, congratulations to the finalists: Kai Löffelbein (Germany) “Ctrl-X. a topography of e-waste” Maxime Matthys (Belgium) “2091 : The Ministry of Privacy” Christopher Sims (USA) “Theater of War: The Pretend Villages of Iraq and Afghanistan” Samuel W. J. Fordham (UK) “C-R92/BY” Marko Zink (Austria) “Mauthausen – The Eradication of Memories” John Angerson (UK) “On this Day” Agata Wieczorek (Poland) “Simulation Centers” Paulo Simão (Portugal) “Goodbye Pyongyang”
The winner will be announced on September 6, during the opening of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Finalists’ exhibition.
See you in Kaunas!
KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest-running annual photographic festival in the Baltic States, based in Kaunas, Lithuania, since 2004. Maintaining its strong international character, KAUNAS PHOTO is a platform of priemieres of emerging talents.
KAUNAS PHOTOfestival announces an Open Call for its 16th edition, inviting photographers to propose their works and offering exhibiting opportunities as well as participation at New KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award, consisting of a solo exhibition at the largest photography gallery in the Baltic States, Kaunas Photography Gallery and a 2500 EUR monetary prize.
KAUNAS PHOTO festival opening events will start on September 5 and 6, 2019.
Who can submit? What works are expected?
For inclusion into the festival, works on the theme “Digital – Virtual – Real”, exploring the lifestyles impacted by digital technologies, are welcome. All styles, genres of photography focusing on processes, consequences of digitized lifestyle, data flow, communication, cyber-crime and -security, machine learning, surveillance, automation, etc. Works created benefitting of digital technologies, such as VR, AR are equally welcome.
KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Award is topic free. Any solidly built photographic story or a robust conceptual, aesthetic work presentable in a series of 12-15 images is accepted. If video, VR, AR materials submitted, or they are inseparable part of a project, the set of 12-15 static images must be accompanied by links to youtube or vimeo addresses, included in the description of work. Images can be screenshots or views of exhibition installations. No single images, please.
All Photographers/Artists, regardless of their age, nationality and place of residence are invited to submit work. KAUNAS PHOTO festival is known for its focus on documentary, but all styles, genres and approaches to photography are accepted and exhibited. Both completed works and those in progress can are welcomed.
Photographers/Artists with KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award in focus, should ask themselves – “is my work ready for a space of 200 square metres?”.
If Photographers / Artists wish that their works remain unpublished until the festival a „DO NOT SHARE ON SOCIAL NETWORKS“ note should be included.
(Extended) Deadline – July 19, 2019, 23:59 entrant’s local time.
Photographers/Artists are encouraged to enter works as early as possible, since the festival curatorial team will be reviewing and studying submissions as soon as they will be arriving.
Entry consists of:
title of the work;
12-15 images (2400 px on the longer side, JPG 90% quality);
short description of the work (up to 250 words);
short written BIO (up to 250 words), follwed by photographer’s contacts: email, phone number/s, mailing address.
Non-refundable entry fee of 25 EUR, per series entered, payable at the time of submission. No more than two series per artist.
For the best of understanding, texts must be in English.
Entries via LensCulture.com only. Direct link >> https://www.lensculture.com/competitions/kaunas-2019/events
Thematic program and a topic-free competition
Photographers/Artists submitting works to Open Call can be enrolled in Kaunas Photo 2019 in the following ways:
[entries on the theme “Digital – Virtual – Real”]can be included intoKAUNAS PHOTO festival program: Outdoor exhibitions, presented in squares in Kaunas, Exhibitions in galleries and Projection events; the central thematic exhibition at the M.Žilinskas Art Gallery of the National M.K.Čiurlionis Art Museum and other museum/gallery spaces;
[theme not obligatory] KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award – Finalist’s and Winner’s exhibitions.
Third is the team of decision-making curators on the Jury panel, who will review all entries and eventually give them exposure through their platforms, institutions and networks.
The New KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award with 2500 EUR prize
The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR tradition started in 2010, awarding the best participant of portfolio reviews with a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery and paying respect to a probable future star of photography. Since 2018, the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Winner also receives a 2500 EUR prize. Possible income tax obligations, eventually imposed by the country of citizenship of the Winner, will be his/her responsibility. In Lithuania, this prize is tax-exempt.
Open Call from KAUNAS PHOTO festival is followed by the Jury work that will select the shortlist of Finalists. All the shortlisted Photographers/Artists will have their exhibitions at the festival in 2019. The number of Finalists will be recommended by the festival and decided by the Jury. The Winner, selected from the Finalists by a joint board of curators of KAUNAS PHOTO festival and Kaunas Photography Gallery, will celebrate his/her exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery and receive the monetary prize. The decision regarding the Winner cannot be appealed.
The exhibitions of both, Finalists’ and the Winner’s works will open on Friday, September 6, 2019. The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Winner is only revealed upon opening of the doors of Kaunas Photography Gallery.
Every KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Finalist agrees:
to provide the festival with a set of 20 – 35 digital files of print quality and additional materials, if needed: texts, materials for installations, etc. The materials will serve for detailed assessment of projects in the progress of selection of the Winner, as well as for the production of the exhibition, if such decision is taken between KAUNAS PHOTO festival and the Photographer/Artist;
to provide information about existing physical exhibitions of works submitted to the Open Call and technical data for logistics, insurance. Based on designated exhibition spaces and other criteria, the festival will either cover the transportation and insurance fees of existing exhibition or produce the exhibition in Lithuania from digital files, provided by the Photographer/Artist;
to propose possible ways of exhibiting his or her work, but accept the final decisions of the exhibition architects of KAUNAS PHOTO festival;
that no site-specific or content informtion about Finalists’ exhibitions will be disclosed until the date and hours of the exhibition openings.
Every KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Finalist is entitled to:
a travel allowance of up to 150 EUR, in return to proof of travel expenses, such as tickets, invoices, receipts of payment, bearing amounts paid, dates of travel, name of the traveller. The allowance is payable during / after the visit to Kaunas. Citizens of European Union countries will receive travel allowance payments via bank transfers;
a minimum of two nights of hotel accommodation in Kaunas at a hotel booked by the festival.
The KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Winner receives:
a solo exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery (200 sq. metres), produced or, if exhibition exists and responds to necessary criteria, transported and ensured at expense of KAUNAS PHOTO festival;
a monetary prize of2500 EUR, payable to the Winner’s bank account, after the opening of the exhibition at Kaunas Photography Gallery, but not later than October 31, 2019.
Fred Boucher – Photaumnales festival and Usimage Biennale (Clermont/Beauvais, France), Director
Claude Goulet– Photo Gaspésie (Quebec, Canada), Director
Anna Dannemann – The Photographers’ Gallery (London, UK), Senior Curator
Grzegorz Jarmocewicz – InterPhoto festival (Bialystok, Poland), Art Director
Kristin Kern – Fotografisk Center (Copenhagen, Denmark), Director
Donatas Stankevičius – Kaunas Photography Gallery (Lithuania), Curator
Gintaras Česonis – Kaunas Photography Gallery (Lithuania), Director
Mindaugas Kavaliauskas – KAUNAS PHOTO festival (Lithuania), Founder & Director
Previous Winners of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR Award who have held their exhibitions at Kaunas Photography Gallery:
Simon Menner (Germany, 2018)
Mayumi Suzuki (Japan, 2017)
Julien Lombardi (France, 2016)
Jeniffer Thoreson (USA, 2015)
Andrejs Strokins (Latvia, 2013)
Andrei Liankevich (Belarus, 2012)
Luca Zanier (Switzerland, 2011)
Eric Lusito (France, 2010)
Inclusion into KAUNAS PHOTO festival program
If selected to exhibit at KAUNAS PHOTO festival, Photographers/Artists will be contacted personally. Their names will not appear on KAUNAS PHOTO web site until the announcement of the program of the festival.
In most cases, the works are produced to match site-specific settings at the expense of the festival. If the artists’ works are available to be transported, are in reasonable distance within the EU and match the general idea of exhibition and space in Kaunas, the festival covers transportation and insurance of works.
Non-Finalist artists, included in the KAUNAS PHOTO festival program, are entitled to a hotel accommodation for at least 2 days in Kaunas (at festival’s chosen hotel), only in cases when they are available to be present at exhibition openings or purposely arranged guided tours. A modest contribution to travel costs is offered to all participants of exhibitions, payable after the completion of the trip to Kaunas and based on invoices, receipts.
KAUNAS PHOTO 2019 Timetable
June 14 – July 19, 23:59 – Entrant’s local time – Open Call for entries; July 23 – Announcement of the Shortlist of Finalists on KaunasPhoto.com and festival’s social profiles August 2 – last day for Finalists to transfer 30-40 hi-res images to the festival for exhibition preparations; From end of June – outdoor exhibitions across Kaunas; September 5– Openings of exhibitions on the topic “Digital – Virtual – Real”
September 6 – Openings of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 exhibition, including the Winner; Until October 6, 2019 – Artist talks, screenings, educational events.
Author’s rights and other legal aspects
While submitting works to the KAUNAS PHOTO 2019 open call via LensCulture, a photographer declares that he/she is the only owner of the economic author’s rights to the pictures submitted. Photographer agrees that the pictures submitted can be reproduced in materials and forms of artistic or media presentation of KAUNAS PHOTO festival outcomes, such as flyers, invitation cards, post cards, posters, catalogs, projections, slideshows, web sites, including but not limited to that of KAUNAS PHOTO festival for unlimited time in unlimited territory without any royalty payments. Entrants accept their responsibility for the right to the image of persons, models, places, objects or trade marks appearing in the pictures submitted to KAUNAS PHOTO festival.
KAUNAS PHOTO festival does not limit the photographers’ /artists’ moral or economic rights to promote, broadcast, exhibit, publish and sell their works submitted to KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s Open Call.
Prints produced by KAUNAS PHOTO festival, can be either left at the festival’s collection or destroyed after the exhibition, based on the decision of the Photographer/Artist.
In 2017, ”The Nemunas Journey” exhibition by Vitus Saloshanka (Belarus/Germany), partly created during two Residencies provided by KAUNAS PHOTO (2015 and 2017), after the first show during the festival in 2017, was presented at Prienai Cultural Centre and Prospektas Gallery of Photography in Vilnius, with artist being present to all opening events, trips & accommodation covered by the inviting parties. In 2019, this exhibition goes to “InterPhoto” festival in Bialystok, Poland. The artist is reinvited. This is just one example of works living on after KAUNAS PHOTO.
About KAUNAS PHOTO festival
KAUNAS PHOTO aims to be the stage for the future stars of photography. Being a part of Photo Festival Union and Festivals Of Light Organization, KAUNAS PHOTO festival is the longest-running photographic festival in the Baltic states is a platform for dialogue around contemporary photographic creation between North and South, East and West.
LensCulture is a global community of photographers and industry professionals. As one of the world’s largest online destinations for discovering contemporary photography, LensCulture also provides some of the best opportunities for global exposure, international recognition, ongoing learning and creative development. LensCulture is committed to inspiring and empowering its thriving community of over 2.5 million, across 145 countries and in 15 languages around the world.