The Unseen Speakers' Corner was the location of the launch of the annual Foam Magazine Talent issue. Eleven of this years' 16 talents were present at the launch, in addition to two talents from previous editions. The talent issue of Foam Magazine is a platform for emerging talent worldwide. Every year, photographers under 35 years old are called upon to submit their work to the Foam Talent Call. From more than 900 submissions, sixteen photographers were published in this years' magazine. In addition, Foam Magazine organised a large outdoor exhibition that can be seen in the surrounding Westerpark until Sunday 23 September.
In the presentation, Marcel Feil, deputy director artistic affairs of Foam, hosted a round table presentation. In two shifts, photographers were invited to present their work to the audience. Immediately clear was the diversity of the portfolios. And the diversity of countries represented. From Japan to Italy, the Netherlands to Egypt, almost every continent was represented at this table. The audience was presented with a one-off section of the contemporary photography landscape of this moment. Everything from landscapes to portraits, abstracts, still lifes and collages was presented. From highly conceptual work to visual journeys of long trips. Feil shared his microphone with the guests and gave each of them ten minutes to share their thoughts and concepts with the audience. A few talents from the launch are highlighted here.
We start with Ali Taptik. Taptik lives and works in Istanbul. The city is his greatest inspiration and the only subject of his work. Looking at the work for the first time, the title Nothing Surprising seems strange and almost wrong. But as Taptik elaborates about his work, it becomes clear that it actually suits him perfectly. Taptik captures his direct surrounding: Istanbul and the people living in it. Not the usual tourist shots though, but a beautiful mix of unexpected places and people. It goes as far in that he clearly states that he does not travel to take pictures. He wants to make and create stories with his daily-made images; as a writer with pictures. Taptik's series are also never a complete story with a clear beginning and end. He reuses his images in different context over and over to create new stories every time. This way his work is part of a bigger narrative which is never complete; a story with an open end that matches its title perfectly.
Laura El Tantawy
The work of Laura El Tantawy is also a personal story about a city. But in her work, the residents of the town play the lead. Her extreme close ups of Cairo’s citizens are dramatic and full of emotion. El Tantawy documented the Egyptian revolution because, she explains, she wanted to illustrate the confusing times visually through human conditions. To not capture the moment itself, but the moment between the moment. As a photographer this makes her miss a lot, she said, but also makes her find unique moments. The personal aspect in this series is so present because, El Tantawy explains, she sees herself in every image. With this series, she tells her own story.
In the second round, Marleen Sleeuwits’ work was discussed. Sleeuwits is intrigued with spaces and shows them in a surrealistic way. As a viewer, most of the time you have no idea what you’re looking at. Shiny surfaces are combined with black stripes, seemingly insignificant corners and white endless stairs. Sleeuwits creates all these new worlds by herself. In desolated office spaces nobody cares about, she makes her own bizarre worlds. Scarce and size alienate completely. She transforms spaces and makes all wonder how you perceive an ordinary anonymous office space.
This brief summary of this inspiring afternoon at Unseen is not enough to get to know all the Foam Magazine Talents. We would like to invite you to visit Unseen this weekend, see the exhibitions and buy the newest issue of Foam Magazine.
Written by Eva Bremer (Foam).
The evening continued with music and drinks at the Foam Magazine Pavilion.
© Dimer van Santen
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