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29 October 2020

Photo Vogue Festival Expands Online For Its 5th Edition

29 October 2020 - Written by PHmuseum

Regardless of the many incertitudes of these months, the Milan-based event does not renounce its 2020 edition, presenting a mixed online plus open-air program aimed at embracing the future.

© Nina Ricci

If Vogue Italia is widely considered as an innovative reference that goes well beyond fashion, interpreting a leading role to explore, understand and influence contemporary society, Photo Vogue Festival represents a coherent and successful spin-off. This year its brave team, lead by Vogue Italia Brand Visual Director Alessia Glaviano, not only confirmed the fifth edition regardless of the many current Covid-related issues, but also worked hard to give life to an exciting program that foresees an open-air exhibition and a new online platform with talks, shows, and much more. A solution that is more than an answer to respond to the current urgency and can be considered as an instrument to embrace the future and its opportunities.

“For the past few years, the Photo Vogue Festival has been an important opportunity for many young people who are cultivating a passion for photography to come into contact with the big names who have transformed fashion photography into a fully-fledged form of artistic expression, capable of encapsulating the changes of our age,” said Councillor for Employment, Production Activities, Fashion and Design Policies, Cristina Tajani. She continues: “An event which, in the midst of a pandemic and faced with a new conception of sociality which is yet to be defined, has been able to adapt, taking a new form by skilfully combining in-person and online events so as to continue to be a crucial moment for promoting the creativity of Made in Italy and Milan in particular”.

© Cècile Smetana

A never seen before platform will host the exhibitions, talks and projections. From November 19th the complete exhibitions will be visible on the online platform: photovoguefestival.vogue.it. Excerpts of the exhibitions will also be displayed outdoors from October 30th until November 22nd, in the Giardini di Porta Venezia in Milan, to allow the community to interact with the works. The exhibitions will be visible in the central points of the city of Milan on the Maxi Led Urban Vision, during the same period. From 19 to 22 November the platform will also host events, conferences and portfolio review.

Among the shows, “All in this together” displays works by 30 photographers that are a hymn to love and hope, an encouragement to nurture and keep alive the sense of community, of solidarity and empathy that we all witnessed as the offset of a very dramatic moment in time, with Covid -19 spreading beyond borders and barriers. The true significance of the term ‘community’, the real meaning of what defines our humanity, maybe is to be found in the notes of a Milanese trumpet player playing “O mia bèla Madunina” (the unofficial anthem of the city of Milan) from his Milanese home window in the unlikely silence of the streets void of any traffic during the lockdown. When everything seems to crumble and nothing appears to make sense anymore, only the total and absolute gratuity of art, its being resistant to any tangible usefulness, its nature being so tragically fleeting and extemporaneous can help us recover the sense of life through the catastrophic and help us “riveder le stelle” (gaze at the stars again). At the heart of this miracle lies another word that belongs to the lexicon of the Communitas – gift. After all, this is what this trumpet player’s music is all about: a gift. Not a tangible object or something that changes anything of the current reality, of the threat that looms upon us or the anguish that has taken hold of us. Yet, a gift like this one, which deserves being called a gift of love – what is love if not a gift, after all? – not in spite of but rather thanks to its gratuity and fragility is the only thing that can transform interpersonal relations, distract people from their isolation to allow them to meet again in another space where loneliness is replaced by the Communitas. It may seem like nothing but it is everything. This exhibition features 30 photographers selected through the scouting initiative launched on PhotoVogue, the photographic platform of Vogue.it. The works have been selected by an internationally jury consisting of experts from across the world, with different backgrounds and vision so as to try to provide the most inclusive and multifaceted perspective.

© Hassan Kurbanbaev

“IN THE PICTURE - Shifting perspectives in fashion photography” curated by Alexandra von Fuerst, Camila Falquez, Nadine Ijewere e Ruth Ossai starts instead from this consideration: if any image is inherently political, so is the act of choosing and displaying them. Fashion photography is a layered and complex art form, a dream factory that is more and more predominantly the preferred stage where collective identities are played and created. With this in mind we decided to introduce for the 5th edition of Photo Vogue Festival a novel way of examining and exploring the current fashion photography panorama, by initiating a dialogue among four of its most brilliant minds. Alexandra von Fuerst, Camila Falquez, Nadine Ijewere and Ruth Ossai are all “contemporary socially conscious fashion photographers”. They are part of a new generation of artists whose aesthetics is intrinsically a hybrid of genres: in their images, fashion engages in a constant dialogue with visual arts and journalism, as well as with an introjected need to balance out the various levels of representation. The work of Alexandra, Camila, Nadine and Ruth, is imbued with issues of gender, race, womanhood, without ever being didactic or redundant - on the contrary, it is glamorous, vibrant and powerful. They are four artists working in an industry – fashion – that is undergoing a profound journey of self-reflection and they are not mere bystanders observing the change but rather part of the main driving force. For PVF 2020, Vogue Italia decided to give space to their vision, initiating a four-way dialogue where the artists are not only the protagonists of the exhibition but also its curators. The photographs in the exhibition, as well as the sequencing and main themes explored are therefore the result of a collaborative creation between Alexandra, Camila, Nadine and Ruth, through Zoom calls, Whatsapp chats and shared Dropbox folders.

As every edition, the Festival will be a unique opportunity for those interested in photography, fashion and art to come into contact with a showcase of innovative photography and industry leaders, from curators to practitioners. Learn more here and follow the festival from 12 November.

© Imogen Freeland
© Silvana Trevale
© Roselena Ramistella
© Julia Fullerton-Batten


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