Open call / Revelations

>> The contest for the 8th International Photography Festival Organ Vida on the theme of Revelations has officially ended on Saturday, May 28th at midnight. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for submitting their project to this year’s Organ Vida open call on the theme of Revelations. All applications are now in the hands of our six international jury members and announcements on the finalists of the festival can be found on our website at the beginning of July. Also, more about the program will be announced in July.
Stay tuned for exclusive. Soon we will publish open call for workshops! Greetings from the Organ Vida team!


As part of this year’s theme, we turn to the authors who dismantle their own ways of seeing in their photographic research, who question the experience and representation of authenticity as well as the construction of visual truth. With the theme Revelations we delve directly into the politics of the gaze and raise the question of disciplining the subject but also the viewer, whose gaze is inscribed with specific expectations and reactions.  What intentions and what language do we use to approach them?

Starting from the assumption that viewers have the right to be informed about matters of public interest, we are interested in how the medium of photography can be used to confront them with the unknown, unmarked and unspoken transformative and everyday experiences, personal fates or those of others, social and intimate battles or insights. The very act of disclosure is also inextricably intertwined with practices of separation, suppression, blinding, ignoring, hiding. Making visible means opening up space within photography that enables us to visualize revelation and at the same time to comment on our ability to look and record this look. Such a task involves taking control and responsibility over the production of an identifiable image of an individual or a group, and initiates the debate about the legitimacy of our own authority. When and how do we relinquish the safe position of the observer in order to challenge a seemingly well-established authority?

Unlike the urge to capture and preserve truthful representations of seemingly authentic lived and/or recorded experiences, the act of revelation represents an opportunity for escaping fixed meanings in images and roles that we assume. Equally so, the micro experiences of self-criticism, self-evaluation and laying bare allows us to speak about what is invisible, excluded or repressed in the image. Whether the selected photographic language is in the form of a report, confession or manifesto, we are interested in multiple perspectives on the researched topic, open narratives and representational plurality. We invite interested authors to focus our attention on personal interpretations of the process of revelation and  how they recognize it, raise awareness on it, and document it through their own photographic practice.

— Lea Vene

The jury

Louise Clements | GBR |

Artistic Director of QUAD and FORMAT International Photography Festival Louise Clements lives and works in the UK/Internationally. She has been the Artistic Director of QUAD, a centre for contemporary art, film and new technologies in Derby UK, since 2001, and Artistic Director of FORMAT International Photography Festival since 2004. As an independent curator since 1998, she has initiated commissions, publications, mass participation, art, film and photography exhibitions. She is a juror, portfolio reviewer, workshop leader, speaker and award nominator throughout Europe, America and Asia. She was a guest curator at: Habitat Centre and Haus Khas BlowUp (Delhi, India, 2012); Dong Gang Photography Festival (South Korea, 2013); Dali Photography Festival (China, 2013); Noorderlicht 20/20 (Groningen, Netherlands, 2013); Photoquai Biennale (Paris, 2015); Christophe Guye 20/20vision (Switzerland, 2015); Les Rencontres Arles, Discoveries (France, 2015); Hamburg Photo Triennial (Container City, Germany, 2015); Obscura Festival Projections (Malaysia, 2015); Venice Biennale, EM15 (2015); Slideluck Rome (Italy, 2015).
She writes for books and magazines and is a guest Editor for OjodePez (Italy), Hijacked III (Australia), PhotoCinema (UK) and South Korean Photography Magazine. She is the Editor at Large for 1000 Words. She is an Advisor to WYNG Master Awards Hong Kong and the Artists Pension Trust.

Simon Norfolk | GBR |

Simon Norfolk is a landscape photographer whose work over the last ten years has been themed around probing and stretching of the meaning of the word 'battlefield' in all its forms. As such, he has photographed in some of the world's worst war-zones and refugee crises, but is equally at home photographing supercomputers used to design military systems or test launches of nuclear missiles.
His work has been widely recognised: he has won Le Prix Dialogue at Les Rencontres d'Arles in 2005; the Infinity Prize from the International Center of Photography in 2004; the Foreign Press Club of America Award in 2003 and he was the winner of the European Publishing Award in 2002. In 2003, he was shortlisted for the Citibank Prize now known as the Deutsche Böurse Prize.
He has produced four monographs of his work, including Afghanistan: chronotopia (2002), which was published in five languages, For Most Of It I Have No Words (1998), about the landscapes of genocide, and Bleed (2005), about the war in Bosnia. The most recent is Burke+Norfolk; Photographs from the War in Afghanistan (2011).
He has works held in major collections such as The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Getty in Los Angeles and the collection of Tate Modern.
He has been described by one critic as 'the leading documentary photographer of our time. Passionate, intelligent and political; there is no one working in photography that has his vision or his clarity'. Fotografiska

Phillip Toledano | USA |

Phillip Toledano is a British photographer born in 1968 in London. He lives and works in New York. After a decade of working as an art director in advertising and a copywriter, he returned to his true passion – photography.
He has a BA in English literature. His art education came from his father, who was a painter and a sculptor. He considers himself to be a conceptual artist. According to him, everything starts with an idea, and the idea determines the execution. He believes that photographs should be like unfinished sentences; there should always be space for questions.
His work is deeply intimate and varies in medium; from photography to installation, sculpture and painting. His book Days With My Father, published in 2010, is a record of his relationship with his father who suffered from dementia for the last three years of his life.
His work often takes a socio-political bent, as in his studies of violence in American entertainment industry and the legacy of the presidency of George W. Bush, or his book A New Kind of Beauty, in which he photographed people with extensive plastic surgery in the style of Renaissance portraiture. His other books include: Bankrupt (2005), Phonesex (2008), The Reluctant Father (2013), When I Was Six (2015) and Maybe (2015).
His solo exhibitions were held in Poland, Ireland, the Netherlands and Australia. He has also exhibited his work in numerous festivals, including Unseen Photo Fair, Paris Photo and Singapore Fringe Festival.
Toledano has worked with publications like Aperture, Eyemazing, IdeaFixa, Ojodepez and The British Journal of Photography. His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harpers, Esquire, GQ, The Sunday Times, Le Monde, etc.

Lea Vene | CRO

Lea Vene is an art historian, cultural anthropologist and fashion theorist. She earned master's degrees in art history, ethnology and cultural anthropology, and fashion theory. She also completed the educational programme of the Centre for Women's Studies. She currently works as a curator in the Gallery Miroslav Kraljević and an assistant (external associate) at the Faculty of Textile Technology. She participates in the organization of ethnographic film festival ETNOFILm. She is also actively involved in the work of the Center for Research of Fashion and Clothing.

Gillian Wearing | GBR

English photographer and video artist born in 1963. Wearing has described her working method as ‘editing life'. By using photography and video to record the confessions of ordinary people, her work explores the disparities between public and private life, between individual and collective experience. Wearing has cited the influence of English fly-on-the-wall documentaries, such as Michael Apted's 7-up and the 1970s documentary The Family. Signs that Say What You Want Them to Say and Not Signs that Say What Someone Else Wants You to Say (1992–3), made shortly after her graduation from Goldsmiths College in 1990, was produced by approaching people on London streets, asking them to write something on a card and then photographing them as they displayed it. Private lives were given a sudden and revealingly painful exposure: a policeman holds a card reading ‘Help!'. With the introduction of video and more in-depth interviewing of her subjects, Wearing began to use adult actors lip-synching the recorded confessions of children, and subjects, solicited from advertisements placed in newspapers, making confessions while wearing masks. The introduction of actors signalled an increasingly dramatic element in her work and a shift away from the use of documentary techniques. The 1999 video I Love You used actors to explore the theme of strong private emotion spilling out into a semi-public domain. The scene of a drunken woman repeatedly screaming ‘I love you' is played out a number of times, the reaction of her three friends differing each time. Wearing won the Turner Prize in 1997.

Donald Weber | CAN |

Prior to photography, Donald Weber originally trained as an architect and worked with Rem Koolhaas in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Weber is the author of three photography books. His book Interrogations, about post-Soviet authority in Ukraine and Russia, has received much acclaim; it was selected to be included in Martin Parr and Gerry Badger’s seminal The Photobook: A History, Volume III.
He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lange-Taylor Prize, the Duke and Duchess of York Prize, two World Press Photo Awards, and was shortlisted for the prestigious Scotiabank Photography Prize.
His diverse photography projects have been exhibited as installations, exhibitions and screenings at festivals and galleries worldwide.
Currently Don is working on his next project War Sand, about historic sacrifice and the meaning of war in our modern world. He is represented by Circuit Gallery in Toronto.