It seems that recent elections have been resulting more often in political stasis rather than political solutions. The arguments of competing political groups are sometimes so polarised that compromise seems all but impossible. Sharing views with likeminded people within homogenous groups, compounded further by social media channels, often glosses over what distinguishes modern society: difference and the necessity of communication.
Based on the motto “Ruptured Society”, the Leipzig festival wants to investigate how photography can serve as a medium for social communication. What are the specific qualities of democracy and how can photography enhance processes of negotiation and communication?
The festival is comprised of several exhibition segments which will be staged on the grounds of the Baumwollspinnerei and at various locations in the city of Leipzig. In addition to photography, this year’s festival will focus on illustration and the graphic novel genre; a film series and symposium will supplement the exhibition programme. The main exhibition in Hall 12 will present international works of art that address the quotidian nature and staying power of social trends. One example is a piece titled “La Vallée” (2013 – 2016) by Nicolas Giraud and Bertrand Stofleth – a long-term photography project which documents the decay of one of France’s oldest industrial regions between Lyon and Saint-Étienne. In a similar vein, Susanne Kriemann examines how the Erzgebirge region of eastern Germany changed after uranium mining operations there were shuttered. Other topics at the festival include election campaigns, party conventions and the parliamentary process. In this context, the exhibition will showcase Ludovic Balland’s project “Day After Reading”. During the American presidential campaign of 2016, he travelled through the United States and spoke with various people about their memories of the previous day’s news stories.
Based on a project by the photographer Andreas Rost and enhanced further with observations by Elske Rosenfeld and Christian Borchert, an exhibition at Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz will examine how 1990 – in contrast to 1989 – has all but vanished from collective memory.
Artistic directors: Anne König, Jan Wenzel
Festival director: Daniel Niggemann
Curators: Krisztina Hunya (HU), Sarah Schipschack, Leif Magne Tangen (NO)
Artists: Ludovic Balland (CH), Christian Borchert (DE), Paula Bulling (DE), Forensic Architecture (UK), Christian Gesellmann (DE), Nicolas Giraud (FR), Ayşe Güleç (DE), Jonathan Horowitz (US), Susanne Kriemann (DE), Alexander Kluge (DE), Ludwig Kuffer (DE), Ferdinand Kriwet (DE), Andreas Langfeld (DE), Ute Mahler (DE), Elisabeth Neudörfl (DE), Ana Teixeira Pinto (DE), Anastasia Potemkina (RU), Timm Rautert (DE), Elske Rosenfeld (DE), Miklós Klaus Rózsa (CH), Andreas Rost (DE), Andrzej Steinbach (DE), Bertrand Stofleth (FR) and others