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Photos: Markus Hippmann



November 2012

Bratislava Portfolio Review 2012

Markus Hippmann and Ilona Braun from FotoQuartier participated this year in the annual Portfolio Review, which took place at the beginning of November as part of the Month of Photography in Bratislava, organised by the Central European House of Photography. Seventy participants came to meet with over thirty-six reviewers who were there representing more than sixteen different countries. This international event was an opportunity for galleries, editors, critics, curators, professors and researchers to discover new photographic talent and meet personally with photographers. FotoQuartier also gladly took up this opportunity.

Unfortunately, due to time constraints we were not able to meet with all the photographers who participated in the portfolio review. Therefore we are only able to write about the small selection of very talented photographers and their work who we were fortunate enough to meet:

After a very enjoyable and successful 48 hours of networking, socialising and many in-depth conversations about all aspects of photography, the winners were announced. In first place, awarded with the prize of a solo exhibition during the Month of Photography 2013, was Jan Brykczynski, a documentary photographer who is based in Warsaw, Poland.  Brykczynski won the portfolio review with documentary photographs of a Boiko village in the Ukraine.

Joint in second place were Katerina Mistal (Sweden) and Marjan Krebelj (Slovenia). Mistal’s photo series ”Mapping Europe” portrayed landscapes as symbols of cultural identity through an exploration of a country’s boarders and limits. In addition to Krebelj’s joint second place position he also won an honorary mention from the polish magazine Fotografia. His series “Dear Japan” was inspired by traditional Japanese and Chinese art.

Third place was also awarded to two winners, Wim de Schamphelaere (Netherlands) and David Rojas (Spain). De Schamphelaere also gained an honorary mention from Fotografia. His stunning photographs, which are meters long, are often made out of more than 700 different shots and capture the communities of African villages. Rojas work displayed a journey, which focused on modern interpretations of the sublime.

In addition to the official winners of the portfolio review FotoQuartier particularly enjoyed seeing work by the following photographers. FotoQuartier waits with great anticipation and interest to see what projects these photographers will be working on in the future.

The documentary photography project “Krievi” by Tina Remiz’s (Latvia) captured powerful images detailing the lives of the Russia community in contemporary Latvia. In contrast to Remiz’s analysis of people, the landscape photography of Luigi Fieni (Italy) is devoid of people. His work is a spiritual journey through nature in search of sanctuary. Peter Janosik (Slovakia) showed us beautiful, original still life images and portraits created using the early photographic process of wet plate collodion, which records images with microscopic fine detail. The social documentary photography of Florian Rainer focused on capturing people of all ages and stages in their everyday environments. His images preserve and transform daily events, turning them from ordinary into extraordinary moments. The delicate and mysterious photographs by Mariya Kozhanova (Russia) are diaphanous and reflect the world around her, drawing upon personal experiences of growing up in modern day Russia. Alessio Schroder’s (Italy) photographic studies are thought provoking, confrontational and hard-hitting portrayals of the sex industry. Whilst the black and white photographs of Katka Prackova (Slovakia) are sensitive explorations of the human body in a state somewhere between hidden and unveiled. Prackova’s blurred portrait images are intense frozen moments that display the contrast between light and dark.

During the Month of Photography FotoQuartier held six exhibitions in Vienna, and several of the photographers we represented were also to be found at the portfolio review. Amongst which were Nina Strasser (Austria) with her reportage series on Hermes Phettberg as well as Bernd Bogensberger (Austria), Nikki Harris (Austria) and Sonja Bachmayer (Austria) with their portrayals of “Lost Places”- empty spaces, deserted rooms and abandoned factories. Photographer Nora Gottardi (Austria) also exhibited in Vienna during November as part of the group exhibition ‘Fo(u)r Women’. For the portfolio review in Bratislava she showed enlightening portraits documenting women within their homes.

Markus Hippmann and Ilona Braun from FotoQuartier would like to congratulate everyone who took part in this year’s portfolio review and thank all the participants for coming to discuss their diverse and creative work with us.