FOKUS Award 2019 / Not in the Spectacle
Gallery of Arts, Fier / October 11, 2019
“Photography is not difficult – As long as You have something to say ” (Mario Giacomelli). Based on this concept that Fokus comes to its 10th edition. With this spirit, it continuously invites artists and public every October in the city of Fier. Over the years, Fokus has been the showcase of the power, complexity and fragility of photography, but the moment has come to change the course towards new imaginary horizons. With the fundamentals of a genuine festival, Fokus Award 2019 naturally stimulates debate, inspires and enhances the community around it, still with the intent to create an influx of thoughts about authenticity and courage in photography.
“Photography acquires something of the dignity which it ordinarily lacks when it ceases to be a reproduction of reality and shows us things that no longer exist,” Marcel Proust said once. True or not, today we need more than ever to investigate and report this dubious relationship between photography and reality. With the theme “Not in the Spectacle”, this exhibition seeks to fight the creative myopia fuelled by the overwhelming cultural homologation, in the still waters photography floats, specially the Albanian photography. This is also due to an accelerating process of mass media power and the submission of photographers to the rules of the game, now largely imposed by globalization in the act of our society. Through this competition, we want photographers to emerge from themselves or otherwise, to immerse themselves deeply in it. In order to seek traces of antibodies that are necessary for the survival of culture in an apocalyptic scenario, when ironically the independence of thought and action seem to have been inherited only by artificial intelligence.
During this contest, photographers will dedicate their time to investigate and look for authenticity, where it still exists. Bringing us the irrefutable proof of the original, a copy of which has now become an image of industry or power by producing the illusion of the “Evolved Society in Spectacle” (Guy Debord). An exhibition not just for the sake of being “Not Global” but an act against a spiritual colonization that requires stepping away from identity roots and losing intellectual autonomy, turning us into passive spectators of lost values. Thus, seen visibly more than anywhere else in photography, also due to its decisive role and impact in such transformation processes. It is up to the photographer to master all the tools of visual sociology, researching within the consumer society and deep into everyday life, with the power of image and imagination.
Looking at the results, we are confident that this exhibition will succeed in narrating a story to the public. Moving forth we strongly believe that this redirection of the Focus Award is now distinct, and we are very pleased the photographers have accepted this new challenge. Fokus has been the showcase of the power, complexity and fragility of photography, but the moment has come to change the course towards new imaginary horizons.
Organizer: Qendra Albania Fokus
Galeria e Arteve
Curator: Elton Koritari – Albania
Burim Myftiu – Kosovo
Osman Demiri – North Macedonia
Jury: Denada Veizaj – Albania
Menduh Nushi – Kosovo
Albes Fusha – Albania
Art Director: Arben Alliaj
Galery Director: Pandeli Lena
Manager: Saimir Ahmeti
Collaborators: Tima Jam
Translator: Lina Sami Ogaily
Design: Fatjona Nexhipi
They have selected and evaluated by the Artistic Board. The International Jury, announced the winner of “Not in the Spectacle”. Print, exhibitions and the “Focus 2019” catalogue will be taken over by the organizers. Participating photos enjoy full copyright. Organizers reserve the right to use photographs to promote festival activities and expose anywhere but have not the right to alienate, sell or use them outside of the festival context.
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