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Foto, New Photography from Denmark
January 11, 2007



FOTO
New Photography From Denmark


FotoFest Presents an Exhibit of 39 Contemporary Danish Photographers

February 1 - March 10, 2007
FotoFest Headquarters
1113 Vine Street, Houston, TX 77002


Houston, Texas (January 9, 2007) – The largest survey of contemporary Danish photography to come to the U.S. opens in Houston as FotoFest’s featured exhibit in February-March 2007. Scandinavian photo-based art is considered to be among the most vibrant in Europe today, and Danish artists are known for their mastery of new and old genres of photography.

FOTO, NEW PHOTOGRAPHY FROM DENMARK opens Thursday, February 1, 2007, 6-9 p.m., at FotoFest’s headquarters at Vine Street Studios in downtown Houston. Exhibiting artists and curators from Denmark will be in Houston for the opening reception. Danish music and food will be part of the ceremonies. Danish and Scandinavian photography has been part of FotoFest art programming since FotoFest’s beginning in the late 1980s.

An artist and curator gallery tour accompanies the exhibit Saturday, February 3, 2007 at 2pm at FotoFest Headquarters. The exhibit and tour are free to the public. The exhibit continues through Saturday, March 10, 2007.

Additional talks on Danish and Scandinavian photography are scheduled for the Glassell School Art, Museum of Fine Arts Houston on Friday, February 2 at 7pm and the University of Houston, Thursday February 8, 7pm at the University of Houston Architecture Building.

All artist and curator talks are free and open to the public.

FOTO, NEW PHOTOGRAPHY FROM DENMARK explores the great breadth of styles and techniques that contemporary photographic artists are exploring today. As video and the techniques of new digital printmaking are being incorporated into film-based photography, Danish artists are also re-inventing and transforming classical techniques.

The remarkable range of tonality in blacks and grays that Eli Ponsaing achieves in his microphysical images of leaves and branches are achieved through the reinvention of 19th century photogravure using late 20th century technology. Using techniques and materials developed through space programs, Mr. Ponsaing has revived a classically beautiful technique, minimalizing its damaging effects to health and the environment.

As a result of his work, Danish and other Scandinavian artists have become known for their skill in combining historical printmaking techniques with modern subject matter. Inger Lise Rasmussen applies photogravure to modern urban architectural space, and Jytte Rex’s images of horses use photo emulsion on wood.

Three artists from the ‘middle generation’ of contemporary Danish photography – Per Bak Jensen, Kristen Klein and Krass Clement – transform different aspects of classical documentarism in photography to create new ways of ‘seeing’ external realities. Kristen Klein’s tiny black and white prints create dramatic landscapes from the flat Danish topography through the interaction of earth, water and sky. Per Bak Jensen, one of the most widely collected Danish artists today, uses photography’s ability to render detail with exquisite clarity to explore life and death through the micro-prism of rotting fruit. Krass Clement confines social documentary to tightly cropped portraits of travelers.

The monumentality of urban architecture and infrastructure becomes like an outer space fantasy in the images of Fie Johansen. In Mads Ljungdahl’s Dream Team, a set of fusball players found on a destroyed table game become transformed into totemic forms of popular culture. Torben Eskerod, well known for his large format work on death masks, shows another perspective of death and its representation of the faces of the dead on cemetery tombstones in Italy. Nicholas Howalt’s frontal portraits of young boxers before and after their fights exemplify the post-modern portraiture that spurns flattery and romanticism.

There are 12 women artists in FOTO, many of whom bring a strong personal focus to their art work and this exhibit. In Don’t Look Now, Camilla Holmgren photographs herself, exploring the inner and outer self of eroticism and seduction. Tina Enghoff’s work focuses on family, the fragments of people’s lives and the kind of pictures people might keep to remember their own life and the living history of family. Through video and video stills in Jump, Charlotte Haslund-Christenson creates the visual facsimile of a personal diary and narrative of remembered images. Young junkies and prostitutes are the subject of Now That You Are Mine, Trine Sondergaard’s exploration of the society around her home and the neighborhood where she lives in Copenhagen.

The youngest artist in this exhibit, Jacob Aue Sobol, was just awarded a World Press Photo prize for his searing portrait of Greenland and Sabine, the Inuit woman with whom he fell in love. The exhibit presents six prints from this series.

FotoFest is presenting FOTO: New Photography from Denmark as the fourth 2006- 2007 Inter-Biennial Exhibit following FotoFest’s 2006 Biennial. The exhibit originated with Grinnell College and curator Daniel Strong, in collaboration with Danish gallery owner, Andrew Daneman of Northern Light Gallery Aps, Denmark. It is part of a series of exhibits on Scandinavian photography. The exhibit is accompanied by a four-color, 206-page catalogue with 200 illustrations and four essays.

The exhibit is open to the public, free of charge, Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm and Saturday, noon-5pm, February 1 – March 10, 2007, at FotoFest Headquarters at Vine Street Studios, 1113 Vine Street, Houston, Texas. Please see the FotoFest website at www.fotofest.org for hours and directions to FotoFest Headquarters. For other information, call 713/223-5522, ext. 19.


SPONSORS

Special funding for the Houston presentation of FOTO: NEW PHOTOGRAPHY FROM DENMARK has come from the Danish government and Danish corporations in Houston: the Royal Embassy of Denmark in the U.S., Royal Danish Consulate in Houston; Maersk Line; Scan-Trans, Inc; Houston Label and Screen Print; and Danish Inspirations.

Additional Danish funding has come from Reachmaster, Inc.; BG Fund Denmark; Preda Consulting; Danish Immigrant Museum; Continental Airlines. BG Fund Denmark.

Institutional sponsors for FotoFest’s 2006-2007 Inter-Biennial Exhibition program are the Houston Arts Alliance, Margaret Regan and Fletcher Thorne-Thomsen Jr., The Wortham Foundation, The Brown Foundation Inc., Houston; FotoFest Board of Directors.

The full list of FotoFest’s institutional and individual funders is available on the FotoFest website, www.fotofest.org.
For visuals please go to www.fotofest.org/pressimages. or for more information on this exhibit and other FotoFest Inter-Biennial programs, please contact Jennifer Ward, Exhibitions Coordinator, at (713) 223.5522, ext. 18 or exhibits@fotofest.org. For Spanish language inquiries, please contact Marta Sánchez Phlippe at (713) 223.5522 ext. 16 or press2@fotofest.org.

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