What will be the focus of your stand at FNB JoburgArtFair and how do you aim to use it as a ‘platform’ for artists?
The Market Photo Workshop’s stand at the 2017 FNB JoburgArtFair will launch the inaugural Market Photo Workshop Alumnus Prize. The Photo Workshop has an extensive alumni network that represents more than 27 years of its existence and photographic practice since 1989. The Photo Workshop continues to invest in programmes to support its alumni through our various mentorships and public projects. The Alumnus Prize will afford the winner the opportunity to present a selection of a body of work at the FNB JoburgArtFair. The FNB JoburgArtFair is a key platform in the South African art world and presents an opportunity for the winner to connect to various stakeholders through the visibility of the fair.
What role does your organisation play as a ‘platform’ for artists? What positive outcomes have you seen from your current projects?
The Market Photo Workshop has played a pivotal role in the training of South Africa’s photographers, ensuring that visual literacy reaches neglected and marginalised parts of our society. World-renowned photographer, David Goldblatt contributed vastly to the establishment of Market Photo Workshop from 1988 to 1999. Since then, the Photo Workshop has been an agent of change and representation, informing photographers, visual artists, educators, students and broader communities of trends, issues, and debates in photography and visual culture. Showcasing a number of high profile local and international photographers, as well as student and alumni photography work, the Market Photo Workshop has been able to build a strong and consistent audience base around our gallery, ‘The Photo Workshop Gallery’ in Newtown, which is on the same premises as the school. Since 2005, when the gallery was initially launched, the kind of platform it has engendered encourages not only emerging students to experience and enter into professional practice, but has distilled a new type of photographic practice amongst the greater artistic community. Various critical discourses, especially around the role of contemporary documentary photography, have been stimulated by the multitude of exhibitions that have shown at The Photo Workshop Gallery, creating dynamic interactions between students and the greater photography community. Market Photo Workshop has since relocated to its new premises at Mary Fitzgerald Square. The new state of the art photography facilities at Market Square, Newtown, consist of ample photography training spaces including classrooms, darkroom facilities, digital manipulation laboratories, two exhibition venues, a library for scholarly research, a space for future photography archives, and plenty of room for talks, presentations and visitors both within and outside the structure.
What are your organisation’s plans for the rest of 2017 and 2018?
The Photo Workshop will present a series of projects that range from training and mentorship projects to exhibitions and critical symposia. In August we will launch an exhibition project that delves into our image history from 2004 – 2017 with a focus on women’s creative photographic production at the Photo Workshop, co-curated by Thato Mogotsi. In September we will host the second Visual Arts Symposium, which is organised by Black Mark Collective. The theme of this year’s VAS discussions is ‘Urgency and Agency – Strategies and Contingencies’, which will focus on artistic and photographic practices that traverse traditional categories and that have been initiated beyond the gallery system. We will also soon announce the Market Photo Workshop’s 2017 Tierney Fellow, who will be mentored by a key South African Photographer for the coming year, and will result in an exhibition at the Photo Workshop Gallery in 2018. We are launching the second phase of our Community Media Training and the third edition of our DAC Incubator Programme which, respectively, will result in public photographic projects and exhibitions in 2018. The Photo Workshop will also be hosting the outcome of its continental mentorship, the Tierney Bamako Award, by the current inaugural recipient and Mali based photographer Moussa John Kalapo, in early 2018. Also focusing on international engagement, a photography exhibition curated out of photographs produced in our training programmes will be shown at the Allcott Gallery, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in October 2017.
Have a look at the FNB JoburgArtFair Platforms here:Friends of the Johannesburg Art Gallery The Market Photo Workshop Artist Proof Studio The Bag Factory Artists’ Studios NWU Gallery M Studio Community SA Mint Kuenyehia Trust For Contemporary Art Orange Babies