Auckland Festival Of Photography
Auckland Festival Of Photography Soon to run its 15th event, the Auckland Festival Of Photography continues to expand and attract an international line-up of exhibitors to New Zealand. Alison Stieven-Taylor reviews the 2015 festival as a taster for this y
It’s only a short hop across ‘the ditch’ and Auckland’s annual photography festival offers plenty of variety. To whet your appetite for this year’s event – on throughout June – Alison Stieven-Taylor recalls the highlights from 2015.
In a year when the legitimacy of the photograph as proof is under question once again with the rumblings in the last World Press Photo awards, the concept of truth and fiction in photography seemed an appropriate theme to explore in the 12th annual Auckland Festival of Photography in 2015. Festival director Julia Durkin says the choice of theme – Truth And Fiction – progresses the conversation around digitally constructed imagery, and also allows for the incorporation of photojournalism, providing the festival’s audience the opportunity to engage with the new as well as the familiar.
The 2015 program combined the fictional and imaginary worlds of international artists like Julia Fullerton Batten (UK), Jae Hoon Lee (Korea) and Maria Kapajeva (Russia) alongside “hard hitting factual photojournalism”, including group screenings from Angkor Photo Festival. There was also solid representation from the local photographic community in New Zealand, with individual and group shows plus a new series by 2015’s commissioned artist, P.J. Paterson.
Portfolio reviews, cultural symposiums and talks about contemporary photographic issues, such as the future of photojournalism (by yours truly), made the festival a drawcard for photography professionals and enthusiasts. I spent a hectic opening weekend running from one opening to another – many of which attracted large audiences – and meeting some fantastic photographers in the process.
“Ninety percent of the work in the festival is by local artists and we are very proud to support New Zealand photography and promote our cultural identity through photography,” says Julia Durkin. “Within the theme there is a nice balance. I think it’s important for our audience to have exposure to international work they wouldn’t get to see, as well as New Zealand work that is part of