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2018 Daegu Photo Biennale

Exhibition Info

ROLE-PLAYING REWRITING MYTHOLOGIES
Curated by Ami Barak



Daegu Photo Biennale 2018 - is pleased to announce the appointment of Ami Barak as guest curator for the next edition of its international bienniale to be held in September 2018. Under the title Role-playing - Rewriting mythologies, the independent curator Ami Barak proposes to explore the role and status of the photographer in the present era, around which exhibitions, publications, as well as other activities will be structured.

With the rise of new technologies, the photographic image has become ubiquitous in everybody’s daily life. Shots have invaded the web and social networks, media that have endowed photography with an incredible ubiquity and play a key role in everyone’s practices. Indeed, photography, which was originally meant to reproduce the most precise details of reality, has turned into a witness of its time, of personalities who live somewhere, a forthright testimony of events. It has now been recomposed and has become so powerful that it obliterates the universe of nature and art, and everything becomes déjà vu.

In “Camera Lucida” (1980), Roland Barthes identified three situations that define photographic practice. Besides the shooting, there was the subject and then the viewer but the great absentee was the photographer, the author. Their role and function have evolved significantly and they are the ones who are compelling us today to look at photography and grasp the political, sociological and cultural issues of the globalized world in which we live. Under the theme Role-playing - Rewriting mythologies, the Daegu Photo Biennale 2018 will examine the role and status of the contemporary photographer in its most varied aspects. The event will present works that are as many scenarios of the real and will focus on the sublimated nature of certain realities that have become, by their proliferations and the focal points they raise, new mythologies. This edition of the Daegu Photo Biennale will select known and recognized artists from all continents, while promoting an opening to the Korean and Asian scene, with special attention devoted to emerging scenes.

Role-playing is defined as a reproduction of a situation constituting a simplified model of a reality. The photographer aims to recreate a situation that represents a type of significant reality we could be facing. It allows them to practice their skills in a less restricted environment. Role-playing is called to design a hypothetical situation that allows a better understanding of the reactions or motivations justifying the behavior of the person it embodies. Role-playing is a subjective dimension of reality that involves the expression, creativity, and perceptions of the viewers.

The photographer interacts in imaginary situations by borrowing someone else’s personality or even staging. This approach enables us to reflect on the duties and responsibilities of the photographer while giving them greater freedom of action and in revealing clear stakes. In 1957, French semiologist Roland Barthes published “Mythologies”, a book that discusses the meaning of objects of everyday life and certain social clichés. According to him myth is a system of communication, a message. Today’s photographers make beings, objects, events, our modernity, speak, providing as many analytical grids, because they show what is hidden under the images and also because they educate the spectator’s gaze to look beyond appearances. Barthes has managed to unsettle us through his frozen/saved images, today’s photographers achieve their goals by providing a deliberate method, which shows how to single out commonplaces, or take the images of our time seriously.