press release

FOTOFEST2008 - The Twelfth International Biennial of Photography and Photo-Related Art, takes place March 7 - April 20, 2008. The Biennial focuses on two inter-related themes:


All Houston art museums and 107 other spaces are celebrating photo-based art with FOTOFEST2008-CHINA, the Twelfth International Biennial of Photography and Photo-related Art, March 7 - April 20, 2008 in Houston, Texas.

Alongside FotoFest’s 10 exhibitions on Photography from China 1934-2008, 19 other spaces are hosting China-related exhibits and events. Eighty other spaces are working with the Biennial’s ancillary theme Transformations. Others are mounting shows independent of the two themes.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) is hosting FotoFest’s public symposium on 20th century Chinese photography and a China film series. The symposium features two noted Chinese scholars and curators: GU Zheng, author/curator/scholar on Chinese photography at Fudan University in Shanghai, will speak on contemporary Chinese photography and CAI Tao, curator of contemporary art and photography at Guangdong Museum of Art in Guangzhou, will speak on historical Chinese photography. The symposium takes place Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 7-8:30pm at MFAH. Admission is free.

The MFAH is presenting three new exhibitions for FOTOFEST2008 with exhibits by contemporary Japanese photographer Miwa Yanagi, the 20th century modernist master Bill Brandt (1904-1974), and the documents of renowned photo-historian Beaumont Newhall (1908-1993). Ms. Yanagi’s three distinct series, Elevator Girls, My Grandmothers and Fairy Tales, confront and disrupt traditional perceptions of women. The Bill Brandt retrospective offers 50 prints, primarily from the MFAH collection, with examples from each of Mr. Brandt’s major series. A celebration of the life and work of Beaumont Newhall marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of this historian, curator, museum director, photographer, collector, critic, educator, mentor, and friend to many in the photographic world.

Four other Houston museums are showing a wide range of conceptual and issue-based work. Blaffer Gallery, the Art Museum of the University of Houston, presents a new exhibition of Chantal Akerman, widely regarded as one of the most important woman directors in film history. The exhibition presents five major works by the artist including a new project commissioned especially for the exhibition, January 19 - March 29, 2008.

In Apertura Colombia at the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, 13 Colombian artists find the signs of social transformation amid mass graves, drugs, terrorism and death squads, March 8 - May 18, 2008. At the Holocaust Museum Houston eight international photojournalists document the war in Darfur, Sudan. The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston presents a show by Dawoud Bey.

The transforming identity of Arab women is represented in Moroccan-born Lalla Essaydi’s large-scale, calligraphic works, Les Femmes du Maroc, showing at Anya Tish Gallery, March 7 - April 5, 2008.

Conceptual art referencing beauty and violence is featured by Sicardi Gallery with new work by internationally known Colombian artist Miguel Angel Rojas, March 27 - May 15, 2008.

Transformation of our environment is represented in Breaking Earth, the collaboration of video artist Alfred Guzzetti and composer Kurt Stallman that turns DiverseWorks Artspace into an immersive atmosphere of light and sound from March 7 - April 26, 2008. Loosely based on Thoreau’s Walden, Breaking Earth’s images and sounds carry us to a place where abstracted landscape becomes a landscape of consciousness, prompting reflection on the disconnect between our actions and our impact on the environment.

Both man and nature’s transformation is explored in Branching Out, an exhibit of images by William Winkler and cast bronzes by Paul Winkler at mARCHITECTS, March 7 - April 27,2008. Man’s ancient relationship to nature and the evolved necessity of tools is explored in Paul Winkler’s bronzes. William Winkler’s photographs explore the relationship between a group of Live Oak trees and the radiant energy that surrounds them, transforming them into creations of reverence and honor.

The ten Chinese exhibitions presented by FotoFest present historical work made before and during the anti-Japanese war (1930s-1940s), the Cultural Revolution, the emergence of independent documentary photography in the 1980s, and contemporary staged and conceptual work from the mid-1990s through the present.

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and CalArts, have curated with the MFAH Film Department three weekends of New Chinese Cinema, March 8-April 6, 2008. The MFAH Film Department also hosts Imagining China - Short Films by Texas Filmmakers, April 5, 2008, sponsored by FOTOFEST2008 and Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP).

only in german

FotoFest 2008

mit Bill Brandt, Cang Xin, Hong Lei, Jiang Zhi, Qiu Zhijie, Miguel Angel Rojas, Rong Rong & Inri, Xing Danwen, Miwa Yanagi, Yao Lu, Zhao Liang, Zheng Guogu ...