Judges Share Their Insight On The PhMuseum Days 2023 International Photography Festival Open Call

Where are technology and continuous innovation bringing our communities? What makes an experience human? Judges Marcelo Brodsky, Carla Liesching, Sara Palmieri and Giuseppe Oliverio share their thoughts on the theme of our festival's 3rd edition.

PhMuseum Days is an occasion to invite our community to come together, learn from each other, and exchange ideas. The festival's third edition will include talks, workshops, a photobook fair, and exhibitions, four of which will soon be handpicked among the open call's submissions. The selection process is delegated to three artists who exhibited last year - Carla Liesching, Marcelo Brodsky, and Sara Palmieri - and PhMuseum's Director Giuseppe Oliverio. We spoke to them to provide you with some insights on how to approach the festival's theme - I Don't Know How To Respond To That - that reflects on our relationship as human beings with technology and continuous innovation.

Artist Marcelo Brodsky starts with a very clear and strong statement: "I am interested in visual production that is related to personal experience in life. The experience of love, loss, nature, music… whatever stimulates your senses and makes your unique experience capable of synthesising and creating a visual object, video, photograph or mixed media result. This object or idea made true should be original, ignore limits, and express a unique vision and style that may add something new and different to the world of visual arts. I am interested in artworks that only the human experience can generate, and I totally discard artworks that are produced using tools like artificial intelligence, that can be mastered by machines."

Photographer Sara Palmieri highlights aspects of the visual language and its presentation in a physical format: "I am interested in the possibility of images being both a site of experimentation and a document of how technology is changing our relationship with reality and nature and our perception of them. In particular, I will be attentive to those works that by analyzing this theme question the very concept of photography and stimulate specific installation possibilities."

PhMuseum Director Giuseppe Oliverio gives insights on the review process: "When I discuss submissions with our team in the context of the festival’s open call, we value the concept of a project, its visual strategy and the potential it shows to engage our audience into meaningful exhibitions. This year our relationship with technology is at the core of our research. I hope to discover projects that reflect on our condition as human beings, on the opportunity and threat offered by constant innovation, especially if they are done in a critical and constructive way. Beyond the simple superficial conversation on social media there’s a deeper - and much needed - ground for analysis that artists shall explore to help us imagine the future."

Photographer and Educator Carla Liesching starts from the role of both the open call and the festival: "I am delighted to view the broad range of work up for consideration, and I am especially keen to discover new and underrepresented talents who are engaging thoughtfully with photography's technological apparatus and the fraught history thereof. As researcher Heather Dewey Hagborg writes, "we tend to look at technical systems as neutral black boxes, but if you open them up and look at the component parts, you find that they reflect the assumptions and motivations of their designers". I am looking forward to finding boundary-pushing work that responds to the complex politics at work in our medium's technology."

Exhibiting your work at a festival can enable you to present your practice to a wider audience while creating new professional connections with curators, editors and publishers. Keep the judges’ words in mind when putting your submission together. We look forward to seeing new talents emerge and creative possibilities to expose at our festival. There is time until 11 May to submit your work. All applicants will receive a Daily Pass to access the festival’s main venue. However it goes, we hope to see you in Bologna this September to enjoy the festival in first person!

Nuke, work exhibited at PhMuseum Days 2022 © Marcelo Brodsky
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Nuke, work exhibited at PhMuseum Days 2022 © Marcelo Brodsky

from La Linea D'Acqua, work exhibited at PhMuseum Days 2022 © Sara Palmieri
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from La Linea D'Acqua, work exhibited at PhMuseum Days 2022 © Sara Palmieri

from Good Hope, work exhibited at PhMuseum Days 2022 © Carla Liesching
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from Good Hope, work exhibited at PhMuseum Days 2022 © Carla Liesching

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