The Winner of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s competition on the theme “Age”—81-year-old photographer Marna Clarke from USA

The two-day long opening events of the 18th international photo art festival KAUNAS PHOTO culminated on the evening of September 3 with the announcement of the Winner of the festival’s competition. KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 Award was granted to the eighty-one-year-old photographer Marna Clarke from USA and her work entitled “Growing Old”. The series will be on display in Kaunas as an outdoor exhibition at Vienybės Square until the end of October.

On September 2 and 3, the festival KAUNAS PHOTO opened exhibitions in nine indoor venues and five open-air public spaces in the city. The evening programme featured projections of works submitted to the festival’s open call on the theme of “Age”, a screening of the photographs from the series “Do Not Forget, You Are Not In Lithuania” by Martha Thomas (USA), accompanied by the readings of her aunt’s Daina Klimauskaitė’s memoirs of the youth spent in deportation in Siberia. The memoirs were read by the Lithuanian theatre and cinema actress Olita Dautartaitė, in presence of Daina Klimauskaitė herself and the author Martha Thomas, who is currently visiting Lithuania.

The Finalists of the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR competition greeted the audience via remote video conference, and after the screening of their series, the founder and art director of the festival Mindaugas Kavaliauskas, and the head of the Kaunas Photography Gallery, who is also a member of the the international and local KAUNAS PHOTO STAR jury panel, Gintaras Česonis, announced the Winner of the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 Award—Marna Clarke (USA) with her series of photographs “Getting Old”.

“On my 70th birthday, I woke from a dream in which I had rounded a corner and seen the end. This disturbing dream moved me to begin photographing the two of us, chronicling our time of growing old,” says the photographer about her work submitted to the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR competition on the theme “Age”, and hopes that her photographs will help others to come to terms with the inevitable future and to feel more comfortable in their own old age.

© Marna Clarke (JAV) “Growing old”

A total of eight series of the Finalists were shortlisted to compete for the main prize of the KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2021 competition: “The Animal Within” by Fábio Cunha (Portugal), “Grandma Divers” by Alain Schroeder (Belgium), “Cut It Short” by Michal Solarski & Tomasz Liboska (United Kingdom / Poland), “The Suspended Youth” by Rosa Mariniello (Italy), “±100” by Magdalena Stengel (Germany), “Belles Mômes” by Clelia Rochat (Belgium), “Do Not Forget, You Are Not In Lithuania” by Martha Thomas (USA) and the wining series “Growing Old” by Marna Clarke (USA) with, who will receive a 2500 EUR cash prize. The works of all Finalists are integrated into the festival programme and are shown in the galleries and cultural venues of Kaunas as well as in the city’s open-air spaces.

The exhibitions of the 18th KAUNAS PHOTO festival can be found here, and the continuously updated events calendar here.

KAUNAS PHOTO is the longest running annual international photo art festival in Lithuania and the Baltic States. The festival founded by Mindaugas Kavaliauskas in 2004 is organized by the public institution “Šviesos raštas”. KAUNAS PHOTO is funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture as one of the strategic international art events in Lithuania.

festival.kaunasphoto.com




Italų menininkai Chiara Panariti ir Gianfranco Ferraro: mes esame pakabinami laikrodžiai, kiekvienas tiksintis savo asmeniniu laiku

Sorry, this entry is only available in Lithuanian.

Praėjęs pavasaris dažną mūsų paskatino daugiau nei įprasta galvoti apie laiką. Apie jį kalba ir italų menininkų duetas: fotografė, post-prodiuserė Chiara Panariti ir fotografas Gianfranco Ferraro, 17-ajame fotomeno festivalyje KAUNAS PHOTO laimėję pagrindinį konkurso KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2020 apdovanojimą – personalinę parodą Kauno fotografijos galerijoje ir 2500 EUR piniginį prizą. Konkursą laimėjusi menininkų fotografinė refleksija „Cronostasi“ kviečia mus iš naujo apmąstyti žmogaus būklės laiką.

Penkiasdešimties fotografijų serijoje fotomenininkai Chiara Panariti ir Gianfranco Ferraro įamžino gyvenimą Milane pandemijos COVID-19 karantino metu. Balkonuose ir languose išgyventas Milano gyventojų kasdienybės akimirkas fiksavę menininkai teigia, kad projektas „Cronostasi“ daugiausia dėmesio skiria intymiai ir visuotinei atnaujinto laiko suvokimo paieškai. Su menininkais, negalėjusiais atvykti į parodos atidarymą Kaune dėl besitęsiančios pandemijos, kalbasi Daiva Juonytė.

„Cronostasi“ yra fotografinė refleksija, užfiksavusi neapibrėžtą Milano gyventojų padėtį karantino metu ir kviečianti pagalvoti apie naują žmogaus būsenos laiką. Ką jums patiems davė šis laikotarpis?

Iš pradžių labai išsigandome, jautėmės visiškai sutrikę ir netikri dėl absoliučiai netikėtos situacijos, stipriai pakeitusios kasdienį mūsų gyvenimą. Karantino metu supratome, kad, kalbant apie mūsų įsitikinimus ir įpročius, pagrįstus gyvenimo tėkme, kuri labai dažnai teka greitai, bet staiga ėmė ir sulėtėjo bei išsiplėtė apie kiekvieną mūsų, esame labai sąlygoti ir beginkliai. Laimei, nė vienam iš mūsų neteko susidurti su rimtomis sveikatos problemomis nei šeimoje, nei tarp draugų, tad šis laikotarpis tapo galimybe dirbti kartu ir pasakoti, kas su mumis vyksta.

Ką „Cronostasi“ reiškia jums?

Chronostazė yra nejudantis laikas, tačiau iš tikrųjų – nuolatinis judėjimas.

Jūsų nuotraukų serija yra apie laiką. Ką apie jį sužinojote?

Mums sunku žodžiais išreikšti tai, ko išmokome. Stebėdami ir žiūrėdami į žmones nuotraukose, galėjome palyginti savo ir kitų laiką, kuris tapo matavimo vienetu to, kas vyko ir tebevyksta pasaulyje. Daugybė pakabinamų laikrodžių, kurių kiekvienas tiksi savo asmeniniu laiku.

Su kokiomis žmonių emocijomis teko susidurti karantino laikotarpiu? Kaip tuo metu jautėtės patys?

Tomis savaitėmis mes bandėme įsivaizduoti, ką žmonės, užsidarę neviltyje, iš balkonų žvelgdami į tuščią miestą jaučia ir kaip ketina įprasminti nauja tapusią kasdienybę. Kartais jų gestai būdavo mūsų jausmų veidrodis, kartais – tobula metafora to, kaip tą akimirką suvokėme daiktų būseną. Mes skyrė atstumas, kiekvienas gyvenome savo burbule. Visi nuotraukose esantys žmonės mus nuolat lydėjo mūsų darbe ir taip sakydami kalbame toli gražu ne vien tik apie vizualųjį lygmenį.

Kaip karantinas pakeitė jūsų nuomonę apie namus?

Priverstinė izoliacija privertė mus iš naujo įvertinti savo gyvenimo būdą. Neišvengiamą kančią dėl priverstinės padėties lydėjo dėkingumas už mus saugančią aplinką. Šios erdvės, dažniausiai negyvos, o kartais ir apleistos, karantino laikotarpiu vėl atgijo, kai jomis pradėjo rūpintis netikėtą jų vertę atradę žmonės. Vietos, kurios buvo savaime suprantamos, staiga tapo svarbios.

Kas visą šį laiką buvo sunkiausia?

Nuotolinis darbas su nuotraukomis buvo labai reiklus. Tam tikromis akimirkomis buvo ypač sunku išlaikyti susikaupimą ir ryžtą dėl viso to, kas vyko šalia mūsų. Tačiau nepasiduoti skatino labai stiprus noras papasakoti tai, ką patyrėme fotografuodami.

Kaip manote, kokia ateitis mūsų laukia?

Išgyvenome šį sustabdytą laiką, turėdami galimybę apmąstyti tai, ką darėme iki šiol ir ką galėtume daryti paskui. Matėme praktikoje įgyvendintų veiksmų rezultatą ir supratome, kad kitokia, gražesnė ateitis yra įmanoma, tačiau tai – mūsų pasirinkimas. Kiekvienas esame atsakingas už tai, kuo taps mūsų laikas: krizės ar galimybių momentu.

Chiaros Panariti ir Gianfranco Ferraro fotografijų serija „Cronostasi“ eksponuojama Kauno fotografijos galerijoje (Vilniaus g. 2, Kaunas) iki rugsėjo 30 d., o nuolat atnaujinamą 17-ojo fotomeno festivalio KAUNAS PHOTO programą „Periferinės vizijos“ rasite čia.

KAUNAS PHOTO – ilgiausiai be pertraukų rengiamas kasmetis tarptautinis fotomeno festivalis Lietuvoje ir Baltijos šalyse. 2004 m. Mindaugo Kavaliausko įkurtą festivalį organizuoja viešoji įstaiga „Šviesos raštas“. Festivalis yra pasaulinės „Festival of Light“ organizacijos narys. Festivalį KAUNAS PHOTO finansuoja Lietuvos kultūros taryba, kaip vieną iš strateginių tarptautinių meno renginių Lietuvoje.
Rėmėjai: Kauno miesto savivaldybė, EPSON.
Parodos partneris: Kauno fotografijos galerija.




The main prize of the 17th KAUNAS PHOTO festival’s competition goes to the Italian duo for their work “Cronostasi” on the changed notion of time during quarantine

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 municipalityEPSON,
Informational sponsor: LRT
Partners: Kaunas Photography GalleryKaunas City MuseumKaunas Municipal Vincas Kudirka Public LibraryKaunas Cultural Centre of Various NationsMaironis Lithuanian Literature MuseumVytautas Magnus University.
Sponsor of the outdoor exhibitions: SP “Kauno želdiniai”




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.

Maxime Matthys. © Karolina Krinickaite

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 (Belgium) – the Winner of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 Award. © Karolina Krinickaite

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.

The finalists of KAUNAS PHOTO STAR 2019 competition (from left to right): Paulo Simão, John Angerson, Samuel W. J. Fordham, Maxime Matthys (the Winner), Mindaugas Kavaliauskas (the founder and the director of the festival), Agata Wieczorek, Kai Löffelbein, Gintarė Krasuckaitė (the curator of Kaunas Photography Gallery). © Karolina Krinickaite

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 festival is supported by Lithuanian Council for Culture and Kaunas city municipality.

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.




Kaunas Photo 2018 | Guided tour of the exhibitions at Kaunas old town

5 pm – Kaunas city museum, Lithuanian folk music history department (L. Zamenhofo str. 12);
5:30 pm – Kaunas Photography Gallery (Vilniaus str. 2);
6 pm – “Meno Parkas” Gallery” (Rotušės sq. 27);
6:30 pm – Kaunas city council Vincas Kudirka public library, department of youth music and art (A. Mapu st. 18).