Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography
The first city-wide Diffusion: Cardiff International Festival of Photography – a month long programme of exhibitions, screenings, performances and events showcasing outstanding photographic work from around the world, and providing a major new platform for both Welsh and international artists – opens next week.
25 Apr 2013 The opening week 1 – 4 May 2013 will see in a number of exhibition openings and celebrations, as well as a major symposium on Friday 3 May at the National Museum Cardiff, looking at the status and meaning of the photograph in contemporary visual culture. With a keynote address by internationally renowned artist Richard Wentworth, a number of curators, artists, gallerists and academics will be interrogating ideas around the photograph in relation to the three panel sessions; Create, Curate and Collect. David Drake, Ffotogallery and Diffusion Festival Director, explains the motivation behind the festival: “Diffusion is a celebration of photography and the photographic image, in all its forms.
Whether created, published, exhibited, collected or distributed in a physical or virtual way, the photograph has the power to inspire and provoke reaction, to reflect our own experience and that of society evolving around us.” Festival exhibition highlights (full list below): · The world premiere of award-winning filmmaker Gideon Koppel’s B O R T H; a film installation set in the wild west Wales town of Borth – a curious and extraordinary place where the infinite horizon of the sea collides with a bricolage of architectures; where epic landscape is playfully juxtaposed with the intimacy of human gesture.
Following on from Koppel’s feature-length film Sleep Furiously – one of the most critically acclaimed British films of 2009 – this new work travels along the blurred borders between documentary and fiction and includes a specially composed soundtrack by James Dean Bradfield of the Manic Street Preachers. · But it’s not late, it’s only dark; Italian artist Maurizio Anzeri’s first solo exhibition in Wales featuring newly commissioned and previously unseen works, alongside a selection of his critically acclaimed “photo-sculptural” pieces.
Acclaimed Portuguese artist Edgar Martins’ project The Time Machine. Martins recently gained exclusive access to 20 power plants located across Portugal that were built between the 1950s and 1970s; a time of hopeful prospects for rapid economic growth and social change. · The Valleys Re-Presented; a major group show at the Tramshed (Cardiff’s former bus and tram depot) featuring twenty artists, exploring the relationship between image, myth and location. With the south Wales valleys as its focus, the presentation includes a combination of archival work by renowned photographers such as David Bailey, Peter Fraser, David Hurn, Bruce Gilden and John Davies alongside newly commissioned projects by Zhao Renhui, Alicia Bruce and Sean Edwards, as well as a film by Jeremy Deller telling the story of Adrian Street, the son of a coal miner who became a pro wrestler.
Also at the Tramshed is Structures of Feeling: The Photographs of Geoff Charles, drawing on the collection of the National Library of Wales to create new frames of reference for Charles’ press photographs. Between the 1930s and 1980s, Geoff Charles contributed extensively to a variety of Welsh newspapers and magazines, documenting the fabric of daily life. · European Chronicles, featuring a number of solo projects by artists from across Europe, highlights how photography, arguably the world’s most democratic and visible medium, enables us to record contemporary life as lived, and to imagine a new, future-oriented European identity.
Reflecting various personal, family and community stories, this small selection of individual projects includes Elin Høyland’s series The Brothers; an intimate portrayal of the relationship between two brothers who lived together on a small farm in Tessanden in rural Norway. Diffusion is being staged in Wales’ capital city Cardiff, which in recent years has undergone major economic and social transformation. The festival uses both traditional and new media to create a strong visual presence across existing venues and found spaces, encouraging visitors and residents alike to navigate Cardiff and its environs in new ways.
In a major new project ffotohive, Ffotogallery Education have teamed up with David Boultbee from BREAD art collective to create five groundbreaking online photographic artworks that can only exist by visitors tweeting photographs taken at one of five designated ‘hives’ around the city. Throughout the month there will be free exhibitions, artist talks and workshops, schools’ programmes and the popular mass participatory event Cardiff Photomarathon. The Diffusion Publishing Weekend takes place over 25 – 26 May, with a Publishing Fair, Photobook Symposium and other artist-led activities.