09 February 2021
09 February 2021 - Written by PHmuseum
The program will take place for six weeks during the coming autumn in the Swedish coastal town. One participant will be selected from among the PHmuseum 2021 Photography Grant applicants by the Landskrona Foto Director.
An Image from the Exhibition of residency photographer Carlos Alba
North of Malmö and just one-hour driving from Copenhagen lies Landskrona and its beautiful natural harbour. The Swedish coastal town is making a name for itself in photography thanks to Landskrona Foto, a centre founded in 2014 that spans areas such as exhibitions, events, photo history, photo books, residency, research, and collections. This year they are a partner of the PHmuseum 2021 Photography Grant and its Director, Jenny Nordquist, will select a photographer from all the submissions to be awarded a place for the Landskrona Foto Residency. The program will take place for 6 weeks during the coming autumn. The chosen artist will receive a production grant of 15000 SEK (approximately $1800), travel expenses to and from the home country plus an apartment and office space in Landskrona. In this interview, Jenny shares with us what’s behind their organisation and what the eventual prize recipient shall expect from the stays in Sweden.
Hi Jenny, can you tell us more about Landskrona Foto and how it has evolved into a leading player for promoting photography in Scandinavia and northern Europe?
The festival is Landskrona Foto’s beacon, with the goal of becoming one of Europe’s most relevant international meeting places for photography. However, as you mentioned, Landskrona Foto is more than this. It is the umbrella name for an ambition to create a powerful centre for the photographic image, ranging over fields such as preservation, the history of photography, exhibitions, residency, publications, and much more. In 2018 we opened a new exhibition space in a newly renovated nineteenth-century building situated opposite Landskrona museum. In this space, we exhibit both historical and contemporary photography from all over the world to enrich the public, create critical reflection, and strengthen the city as a cultural destination. The space also has a small cinema and a research library where we display part of our unique photobook collection, one of the largest in Sweden with a focus on the history of Swedish photography. Right now we are looking into developing a maker space where photography can strengthen children and young people’s creativity and visual literacy.
Image from Landskrona Foto Festival 2018
The photography festival is undoubtedly one of the gemstones of your offer. Which were the new challenges of organising a public event in this unprecedented year and how do you think it affected the curatorial process?
One big challenge was international travel due to closed borders. An international exhibition program with an international presence has always been very important to us. We always invite all exhibiting photographers and arrange a portfolio review, but this wasn’t possible in 2020 so we started to work on digital solutions for a professional program with artist talks, conversations, and an online portfolio review. The pandemic did not affect the actual exhibition program much. We were able to ship works and produce according to plan, and we managed to fulfil our exhibition program according to the curatorial plan from our artistic director Monica Allende.
The residency program is another main offer within your international program. Guest artists are hosted in Landskrona, a town located on the shores of the Öresund, the water strait which connects Sweden and Denmark border. How do you think photographers benefit from their stays in this place and vice versa?
With our residency program, we want to allow the photographers to further their career, and develop a new body of work far away from their daily life. We also see it as an opportunity to let an outsider’s point of view enrich our city. Landskrona is a unique city in that it is very small but filled with cultural institutions and events. So you benefit from being in a quiet place close to the sea and nature, but you still have many resources at hand, for example, our photobook collection, the local museum’s extensive photographic archive, and a modern art museum. If you need to extend your research or inspiration or just enjoy the busy nightlife, Copenhagen is only an hour away by train, and Malmö, the third biggest city in Sweden, is half an hour away. Most of our staff commute daily from Malmö. When we create the program for the residency photographer we often include events, gallery tours, and networking opportunities in these cities.
Image from the VR presentation of residency photographer Maria Judova
So how is the residency is structured, and how do you set up the collaboration between your organisation and the residency photographers?
The residency photographer stays for 6 weeks, is given an apartment in central Landskrona, a cash grant, and a place to work within our department. We create a suggested program that offers various opportunities for networking, guidance, and inspiration. The work does not have to result in an exhibition at the end of the stay, but we do encourage some form of public presentation like an artist talk or open studio. We leave the outcome open for the various artists’ needs. Some have published books following the residency, which we have supported, and others have been invited back to exhibit. We want the residency to be the start of a relationship where we support the residency photographers in the future as well. These days, we are opening an outdoor exhibition where we asked four of our nine former photographers-in-residence to use one of our outdoor triangular structures to present some of the work they created while being in Landskrona. This exhibition is a glimpse into what the photographers were drawn to while being in our city.
You will select a photographer from the PHmuseum 2021 Photography Grant applicants to join this autumn residency program. What will you be looking for at the moment of reviewing the submissions and selecting the candidate?
I am looking for professional projects that relate to Landskrona from photographers who have the potential to strive in our context. I am also hoping that we will be introduced to a new perspective on Landskrona, maybe even surprised about the subject they want to focus on. I am very open about the type of working methods the photographer decides to use. Previously we have seen everything from processes involving archives and analogue photography to virtual reality.
Image of former residency photographer Marta Bogdanska preparing her show.
The PHmuseum Photography Grant has established itself as a leading prize in the industry over the past eight years, renowned for celebrating the importance of contemporary photography and supporting the careers of emerging artists through monetary prizes and various opportunities across international festivals and online media. You are welcome to present your work before 18 February. Learn more and apply at phmuseum.com/g21.
Jenny Nordquist is Director for Landskrona Foto, Sweden. She has a background in fine art photography, education and curation. From 2016-2018 she was the Artistic Director for Landskrona Foto Festival. She has previously been head of photography at Östra Grevie College in Sweden and from 2011-2018 she was director of a project space for photography in Copenhagen.
Landskrona Foto is the collective name for a centre for the photographic image that spans areas such as exhibitions, events, photo history, photo books, residency, research, and collections. The most important element, the one they call ‘The highlight of Photography’ is their festival where the love of photography, dedication, and commitment to Landskrona as the meeting place of photography reaches its crescendo.
A satellite view of Landskrona from Google Maps