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PHotoEspana 2011

Different venues, Madrid

The event address the theme Interfaces: Portraiture and Communication, and organized interactive and participative projects beyond the exposition spaces themselves. The expositions of the festival consist of 66 exhibitions of 370 artists and creators, from 55 countries. Cindy Sherman, Thomas Ruff, Ron Galella, Alfredo Jaar, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Dayanita Singh, Kan Xuan, and Nancy Burson are among the participating artists.

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PHotoEspaña 2011 will address the theme, Interfaces:Portraiture and Communication,, and will organize interactive and participative projects beyond the exposition spaces themselves. The fourteenth annual PHotoEspaña festival will be held in Madrid from June 1 to July 24. Lisbon, Cuenca, and Alcalá de Henares will also host parts of the festival.
Gerardo Mosquera initiates his three year tenure as chief curator of PHotoEspaña with this year’s festival, developing the theme of Interfaces: Portraiture and Communication.
The expositions of the festival will consist of 66 exhibitions of 370 artists and creators, from 55 countries. Cindy Sherman, Thomas Ruff, Ron Galella, Alfredo Jaar, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Dayanita Singh, Kan Xuan, and Nancy Burson are among the participating artists.

PHE11 will organize over 60 activities: photography workshops, showings of portfolios, debates, master classes, guided tours, educational programs, family workshops, various showings (projections) and other activities in the city streets.
The Festival will foster public participation through activities held outside the exposition spaces. The internet will play a vital role too, as there will be various contests and expositions online.

Oliviero Toscani, Ouka Leele, Javier Vallhonrat, and Ernesto Bazán will be professors in the Campus PHE program. Estrella de Diego will direct the PHE Gatherings Program (Encuentros PHE), and among those participating in the festival’s debates and roundtables will be Soledad Puértolas, Cabello/Carceller, and Christine de Naeyer.

Young people and adults will participate together in intergenerational workshops. Children will be at the center of the Festival with workshops and activities designed specifically for them.
Her Majesty the Queen Sofia will officially inaugurate PHotoEspaña 2011 in the CSIC Royal Botanical Garden (Real Jardín Botánico) on Wednesday, June 1.

All the information about this year’s festival, relevant news, prize assemblies, interviews with artists, and exclusive activities can be found at

PHotoEspaña 2011 will take place in Madrid from June 1 to July 24. Lisbon, Cuenca, and Alcalá de Henares will also play host to the Festival. The fourteenth annual festival of photography and the visual arts will offer a program of 66 expositions – 21 in the Official Selection, 5 in OpenPHoto, 9 in other halls, and 31 as part of the Off Festival (Festival Off)– in 57 locations, among them museums, galleries, art centers, and exposition spaces. 370 artists and creators, of 55 nationalities, will be participating.

The Official Selection of PHotoEspaña 2011 will be structured around both a thematic selection curated by Gerardo Mosquera, who has assigned it the title Interfaces: Portraiture and Communication, and various special projects. The expositions of the Festival will have three other sections: other halls, myriad spaces that will come together as part of PHotoEspaña to promote photography: OpenPHoto Cuenca, which integrates the projects of embassies and foreign cultural institutions, and the Off Festival (Festival Off), which brings together the best works from the major art galleries of Madrid.

Each year, PHotoEspaña relies on the involvement and participation of public and private institutions that in turn enable the organization of over 120 expositions and activities. Owing to the faithful commitment of the Ministry of Culture, the Community of Madrid, and the Municipality of Madrid, over 60 foundations, businesses, embassies, cultural centers, and museums have collaborated; joining their ranks this year are Loewe, CaixaForum Madrid, the National Archeology Museum (Museo Arqueológico Nacional), Samsung, and RENFE. The help of all these organizations affirms the project of PHotoEspaña, through work done online, continued institutional collaboration, and broader cultural cooperation, which includes, in addition, other avenues of affiliations. Trasatlántica PHotoEspaña, a forum for photography and the visual arts that is now in its fourth year of existence, has shored up relationships with institutions in Spain and Latin America. OpenPHoto Cuenca, for its part, works with cultural institutes and foreign embassies.

PHotoEspaña will hold its fourteenth annual festival with steadiness and surety, fostering the involvement and participation of the public in the activities organized by the Festival, which, for another year, extend beyond the traditional dates of the festival itself, from June to July, and take place throughout the year. The trajectory of the last years of the Festival has been oriented toward the creation, expansion, and diversification of programs and activities, an effort that has been bolstered by the loyalty of a broad collection of aficionados of culture and photography. The Association of Friends of PHotoEspaña presently exceeds 1,900 members, who form a group that enjoys a battery of specific activities as well as an exclusive meeting space, the Espacio PHotoEspaña, which hosts activities such as family workshops and specialized courses. Having paid particular attention to the growing general public that enjoys the festival year after year, the organization has increased its educational and professional offerings and has created new formats that integrate different segments of the public, like the intergenerational workshops. PHotoEspaña pays special attention to the promotion of activities on social networks, a critical space for communicating with followers.

Gerardo Mosquera, chief curator of the next three installments of the PHotoEspaña Festival. In his first year as artistic director of PHotoEspaña, Gerardo Mosquera proposes a panoply of expositions that will develop the theme of Interfaces: Portrait and Communication.

The thematic section of PH11 will pay special attention to the portrait, whose fundamental element is the face, principal expression of the identity of the individual and the nexus of identification, character, and personality. The portrait combines these qualities and includes, as well, the position of the portraitist, who modulates or transforms the identity and message of the face by dint of the meaning she hopes to convey, and the identity of the viewer, who then interprets that message in accordance with her own cultural expectations and conventions. Certainly the face is a mechanism of communication, and photography has captured this communication because of its capacity to freeze expressions and order them in time. It is for this reason that there has been such a profusion of portraits in contemporary life; the face is photographed because it is a zone of contact and exchange. In this sense, the concept of interfaces is apropos, as it emerged at the end of the 19th century as a reference to a surface that established a common border among different bodies and regions. Connected in the 1960s to the language of computer programming, its etymology (inter + face) alludes precisely to the exchange among faces. In PHE11, the phrase is invoked to suggest the communicative powers of the face: faces as spaces that touch [and can be entered into] and as spaces where information can be shared or exchanged, facilitating an interaction between independent, and sometimes contrary, entities.

PHotoEspaña 2011 is centered on the portrait – one of the vastest and most important genres of photography – treating it in terms of the notions of communication and interconnection. The Festival will explore the face as a zone of interaction, exploring the limits and friction arising from this communication. Obviously focused on photography, the curated selection will not be reduced to this medium alone, rather it will open onto other media and feature new trends that approach the exposition as a more experimental space, open to events, processes, and experiences, including projects outside the exposition halls that are interactive and which will reach the community directly and take place on the internet.

Portrait and Communication, Lynchpins of the Thematic Selection
Teatro Fernán Gómez. Centro de Arte/Fundacíon Banco Santander presents Face Contact, the flagship of the thematic selection. The exhibition gathers the work of 31 artists who have worked on portraiture and the portrait as an element of identification and communication, from the mid 1960s to the present day. Hans-Peter Feldmann, Shilpa Gupta, Mona Hatoum, Cristina Lucas, Liliana Porter, and Dayanita Singh are just a few of them.

The exhibition space Alcalá 31, of the Community of Madrid, shows 1000 Faces / 0 Faces / 1 Face. Cindy Sherman, Thomas Ruff, Frank Montero Collado, an exhibition produced by the Telefónica Foundation (Fundación Telefónica) that collects the work of two great contemporary masters that have worked in depth on the complexity attending representations of the subject, together with the work of Montero Collado, a perfect stranger whose photographs from the 19th and early 20th century are being shown for the first time.

El MUICO. Museo Colecciones ICO presents The Power of Doubt, an exhibition curated by Hou Hanru that brings together over 50 works including photography and video installation by 16 artists of eleven different nationalities, the majority of whom hail from China and Western Europe. The exposition explores the necessity of doubt as a way of seeing, recording, and communicating with the real world.

Fayum Portraits + Adrian Paci: No Visible Future is the title of the exposition with which the National Archeology Museum will be integrated for the first time, as a display space, in the PHotoEspaña Festival. The showing brings together 13 of the so-called Fayum portraits, dated between the first and third centuries BCE and never before shown in Spain, and puts them beside the video Centro di Permanenza temporanea (2007), by the Albanian artist Adrian Paci.

The Círculo de Bellas Artes and Loewe, Gran Vía 8, are showing Ron Galella: Paparazzo Extraordinaire!, an exposition with over 100 photographs from the most famous and controversial paparazzo of the twentieth century and a pioneer of photographing public figures in private moments. In the Sala Minerva, at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, will be Blazing Camera: The Prostitutes of Fernell Franco, a portrait of the lives of sexual workers in Cali, on the Pacific port of Colombia, during the 1970s. The Colombian artist Fernell Franco captured the abandoned spaces and remote atmosphere with a stylized vigor very much at the artistic vanguard of the time.

The Royal Botanical Garden (Real Jardín Botánico-CSIC) will host Face to Time, a reflection on age, aging, and physical evolution through photographs and video installations by five contemporary artists: Esther Ferrer, Péter Forgács, Pere Formiguera, Lucas Sâmaras, and Kan Xuan. The exhibition explores the role of the portrait as a tool for freezing time and showing the metamorphoses it brings about.

The Canal Foundation (Fundación Canal) participates in the Official Selection of PHE11 with an Online Webcam Photography Contest that calls attention to the artistic possibilities of the portrait taken by webcam, and it invites experimentation in this new arena. The contest will take place entirely online, and the participants will compete for prizes of 2,500 €. An international jury will select 50 portraits that will then be exhibited in an online exposition at

Matadero Madrid presents, in Abierto X Obras (Open for Repairs), the installation of Carlos Rodríguez-Méndez, Seated Men, an artistic exploration of the intensely vivid bodies of men over 70 years old in which the body is converted into physical and emotional material for the work of art. The Café Teatro de las Naves del Español will host Bello público, a panorama of popular faces of Spanish culture at the turn of the century photographed by the micropoet Ajo while she worked as a ticket taker at the Alfil Theater. Finally, in Nave 16, there will be a projection of the film 48, by Susana da Sousa Dias, which profiles the longest standing dictatorship of twentieth century Europe: that of Salazar in Portugal. Selected in more than 20 international festivals, 48 brings together the victims of the regime who together compose a portrait of the opposition to the dictator.

The Lázaro Galdiano Foundation will present An Image to be Remembered: The Carte de Visite, which brings together 120 photographs (calling cards, or cartes de visite) and three albums from the nineteenth century belonging to the writer and well known novelist Pedro Antonio de Alarcón (1833-1891). The exhibition reveals the popularity of the cartes de visite in the nineteenth century, an instrument for the promotion of photography and also one of great sentimental value.

Casa de América will be showing Brave New World. Panama Through the Eyes of Carlos Endara. The work of the Panamanian photographer leaves Panama for the first time to be shown in here in a gallery that includes vintage prints as well as new ones, encased negatives, illuminated portraits, and 150 calling cards. Practically unknown, the work of Endara is a testimony to the history of Panama at the end of the nineteenth century and during the first half of the twentieth.

El Colecção Berardo de Lisboa participates once more in PHotoEspaña and is showing A Hundred Times Nguyen, by Alfredo Jaar. The girl Nguyen, whom the artist met at a refugee camp in Hong Kong, is the protagonist of an installation in which the image of her face is repeated over and over again. The work purports to reflect on the distant (and distancing) effect of news reports, and it explores the widening distance between the Third World and the developing countries.

Diversity of Classic and Contemporary Artists in the Special Projects Portion of the Festival
PHotoEspaña opens its doors to a series of exhibition projects that do not fall within the purview of the thematic selection curated by Gerardo Mosquera. The Cervantes Institute presents in this group, Weight and Lightness. Latin American Photography, between Humanism and Violence, a selection of 15 participants in the portfolio exhibitions from the Trasatlántica PHotoEspaña Festival in Managua and Cartagena de Indias, which reflects on the realities of geographic and mental space, conceived in Latin American terms, among artists who share an interest in suggesting a continuous movement between weight and lightness.

CaixaForum Madrid joins the Festival with three expositions. Building the Revolution. Art and Architecture in Russia 1915-1935 unveils one of the most exceptional periods in the history of art, with 230 works including models, paintings, drawings, archival photographs as well as contemporary ones (the latter of which have been culled by British photographer Richard Pare.) A Floating World: Photographs by Jaques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) collects over 200 pieces that include modern reprints, original snapshots, cameras, notebooks, planners, and the diaries of one of the most formidable names in twentieth century photography. Finally, Haiti, 34 Seconds After uses as an example the earthquake in Haiti to show how a humanitarian emergency is experienced, and it emphasizes the transcendent spirit of the Haitians in light of the tragedy.

The Brazilian photographer Alécio de Andrade is the author of The Louvre and its Visitors, in the Casa de América, a collection of 88 images that reflect the attitudes of the museum’s visitors, cataloguing their reactions and social typologies.

Bucharest: A Paradoxical City – an exposition produced by the Romanian Cultural Institute and supported by the Artes del Ayuntamiento in Madrid, along with the collaboration of the National Museum of Contemporary Art of Bucharest – presents in the City Museum (Museum de la Ciudad) a collection of works about the reality of Bucharest which together showcase 11 Romanian artists of different generations, for whom photography and video are both a means of visual expression and instruments of social criticism.

The Official Selection culminates with, at the Reina Sofia Museum (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía), the monumental exposition A Hard, Merciless Light. The Worker-Photography Movement, 1926-1939, which examines the working class, or Arbeiterfotografie, photography movement in its entirety, through over 1,000 works that include photographs, magazines, books, and films.

Also participating in the Official Selection of PHotoEspaña 2011 will be the curators Rosina Cazali, Jean-François Chougnet, Martine d´Astier de la Vigerie, Hou Hanru, Hélène Lassalle, Jean Marchetti, Tania Pardo, Guillaume Pazat, Francisco Rey, Jorge Ribalta, Sandra Rocha, Florian Rodari, Adrienne Samos, Mary Ann Stevens, Oana Tănase, Laura Terré, María Tsantsanoglou, María Wills, Margit Zuckriegl, Juan Antonio Yeves Andrés, and Juan Miguel Sánchez Vigil.

International Projects at OpenPHoto Cuenca
Cuenca participates in PHotoEspaña for the fifth consecutive year with projects for exhibition coming from the embassies and cultural institutes of Austria, France, Lithuania, Portugal, and Romania.

The Antonio Pérez Foundation will host two exhibitions. New Concepts in Austrian Photography – organized by the Austrian Embassy, the Austrian Cultural Forum, and the Austrian Ministry of Education, Art, and Culture – brings together the work of nine Austrian artists who are paradigmatic with regard to their use of new forms of expression that join the digital and real worlds. The exhibition of the French Embassy, Diptyque, by Jean-Christopher Vilain tries to explore the limits of reality and to create unusual dialogues between objects that appear very different.

In the Antonio Saura Foundation. The Zavala House (Casa Zavala) will be showing The Last Transhumance, by Dragoş Lumpan, organized by the Romanian Cultural Institute. The Romanian artist offers a first-hand portrait of a migrant family, a custom on the verge of disappearance. Also at the Zavala House will be Grimaces of the Weary Village, by Romaldas Viksraitis, a project from Lithuania which shows the decay of rural agricultural communities in Lithuania, one of the most rapidly developing economies in Europe. Finally, A Diary of the Republic, a work by the collective [kameraphoto], will be on display. The project of the Portuguese Embassy and Instituto Camões commemorates the centenary of the Portuguese Republic through 80 images taken over the course of 2010, the year of its hundredth birthday.

Reflection on the Role of the Portrait in the History of Photography, in PHE Gatherings (Encuentros PHE)
PHE Gatherings (Encuentros PHE), a program of conferences and roundtables organized by the Ministry of Culture, will be directed by Estrella de Diego and will have, as its title, Faces: The Face in Photography. From June 2 to June 4, some twenty professionals from the visual arts world – among whom will be Soledad Puértolas, Concha Casajús, Germán Gómez, Cabello/Carceller, Christine de Naeyer, and Joan Fontcuberta – will explore, from different perspectives, the essence of the image of the face and its possible readings in photographic practice, beginning with the notion of the face as a place of convergence and exchange of meanings.

More than 1,300 Works In Competition in the Showing of Portfolios
PHE Discoveries (Descubrimientos PHE) has received 1,302 submissions from artists of 60 nationalities: 911 in the Madrid convocation, 149 in the Managua convocation, and 242 in Cartagena de Indias. All will compete for the PHE Discovery Prize (Premio Descubrimientos PHE), with the publication of the winning project in the magazine OjodePez. The 70 finalists of the Madrid Convocation will present their work to 23 photography specialists from June 2 to June 4 in the Second of May Art Center (Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo – CA2M). Among those judging in this convening are Thomas Seelig, photography curator from the Winterthur PhotoMuseum; Edward Robinson, photographic curator of LACMA (Los Angeles); Roberta Valtorta, director of the Contemporary Art Museum of Milan; Eder Chiodetto, photography curator of the Modern Art Museum of Saõ Paolo (Brasil); Frederique Babin, graphic editor of Le Monde Magazine; and Michiko Kasahara, photographic curator of the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography.

Oliviero Toscani, Javier Vallhonrat, Ouka Leele, and Ernesto Bazán, Professors of the PHE Campus (Campus PHE), Community of Madrid
PHotoEspaña and the Community of Madrid, in collaboration with the Town Council of Alcalá de Henares through the Municipal Business Promotion Program of Alcalá, S.A., offer, over the course of a year, an educational program in photography and the visual arts. There will be workshops and master classes with professionals in the field of the production, theory and practice of photography that will be held in the Ancient Hospital of Santa María la Rica, between December and June. The PHE Campus, Book Production Program will take place on April 9 and 10, and will be led by Lesley Martin, executive editor of the Aperture Foundation, and Pablo Rubio, director of the Erretres study of design. The Grand Masters Program, of the PHE Campus series, will be held between June 22 and June 25, and will offer workshops led by Ernesto Bazán, Javier Vallhonrat, Ouka Leele, and Oliviero Toscani.

Educational Program for the Enjoyment of over 500 Students
PHotoEspaña and the Banco Santander Foundation organize an educational program meant to coincide with the exposition Face Contact, which will take place in the Fernán Gómez Theater Art Center, which allows more than 500 students from eight different academic institutions throughout Madrid to be exposed to photography and the contemporary visual arts. Those participating will be third and fourth grade students at ESO as well as those in their first year of high school at the American School of Madrid, Colegio Concertado Nuestra Señora de Montserrat, Colegio Lourdes Fuhem, Colegio Blanca de Castilla, IES Grande Covián, IES Ramiro de Maeztu, IES San Isidro, and Scuola Statale Italiana di Madrid. The results of their work will be shown at

Children and Adults Participate in Intergenerational Workshops in Alcalá de Henares
The Town Council of Alcalá de Henares, through the Municipal Business Promotion Program of Alcalá, S.A., and PHotoEspaña organize photography workshops for children and adults. The courses form part of the cultural program “Generation of Arts and Letters,” organized by the Town Council of Alcalá de Henares, and it has an interactive as well as educational purpose. On this occasion, the Town Council of Alcalá de Henares includes adults in its educational program, as it has done with children in prior years.

On June 11, the PHotoRunners (PHotoCorredores) will take to the streets of Madrid in the Mahaou PHotoMarathon
On Saturday, June 11, at 12:30PM, the Mahaou PHotoMarathon will be begin at the Canal Foundation; it is a several hours-long, citywide search for the best moments to photograph. The most popular activity of the festival, it is free and designed for anyone and everyone, welcoming the participation of all photography lovers. After receiving an identification number, the participants disperse through the streets of Madrid in search of the best moments to photograph. At the end of the hunt, and at some point in the afternoon, there will be a downloading of all the images, which will be projected onto a huge screen. All the participants in the PHotoMarathon will be able to choose one of their photos and take home a printed version, courtesy of Mahou.

Family Workshops, Guided Tours, and Online Contests for the Entire Public
PHotoEspaña fosters the interaction and participation of all different age groups. For that reason, together with the Canal Foundation, it organizes Saturday Workshops, photography workshops for children and young people in the gardens and showroom of the Foundation, which allows young people to familiarize themselves with digital photography. Every Saturday in June and July, students will discover the communicative capacity of the face in an activity, which, this year, will have 360 available slots, up from the 240 slots available last year. The Festival will also make available for everyone interested free guided tours of the expositions of the Official Selection, as well as hour-long family workshops so that older and younger participants can share a guided tour and practical activity.

Samsung, official camera of PHE11, organizes Samsung photographic tours in which official photographers from the festival accompany participants to help them discover the best places to take photographs and to get the most out of their cameras.

Smart, official car of PHotoEspaña since 2005, organizes PHotoBlog Smart, an online photography competition, offering up a weekend stay and use of a Smart car in Madrid as an award for the best photograph.

A Group of over 1,900 Friends with a New Meeting Place
The Association of Friends of PHotoEspaña consists of 1,930 members who enjoy advantages like discounts on professional and educational programs, digital gatherings, guided tours, invitations to inaugurations and openings, special offers in the official publication and Festival Guide, and discounts on workshops and activities. Moreover, since January 2011, they have their own space, the PHotoEspaña Space (Espacio PHotoEspaña, calle Alameda 9) where they enjoy an exclusive activity for members and where they can have coffee every Friday with artists, curators, and photography specialists. The PHotoEspaña Space has a range of uses, and hosts children’s workshops as well as workshops for professionals.

Books from PHotoEspaña
The Collection PHE Books will publish Interfaces, the thematic publication of PHotoEspaña 2011, which will develop the most relevant subjects of the Festival beginning with a selection of images from the participating artists, as well as essays by the chief curator of PHE11, Gerardo Mosquera, and authors like Iuri Lotman, Ernst Van Alphen, Richard Brilliant, William A. Erwing, Daniel Elissalde, John Berger, Jorge Ribalta, Eduardo Ramírez, Giuliana Vidarte, Rita Ferrer, Benjamin Buchlo, and José Luis Barrios. PHE Books will also edit the PHE11 guide book. Four art centers will offer, along with their expositions, a catalogue that collects the most notable images and essays as well as reference texts. The texts will include 1000 Faces, 0 Face, 1 Face; Bello Público, by Ajo; The Power of Doubt, and Face Contact. All of these texts will be available in the bookstores and official sales stands at the Festival.

Myriam González
Press Chief
T.+34 91 298 55 11

Press Chief
T.+34 91 298 55 11 María Peláez
International Media Officer
T.+34 91 298 55 14

Differents venue, Madrid

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