Futures 2020: PhotoIreland and Hyères

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This week Futures unveiled its digital photography festival. In the first of a series of articles, we explore the talent and topics being presented by the 12 member institutions in response to this year’s RESET theme

Taking place digitally for the first time until 31 October 2020, Futures 2020 brings together a network of European arts institutions to present some of the brightest emerging names in contemporary photography. Featuring two online exhibitions alongside talks, workshops, studio visits and more, this year’s RESET theme explores how ongoing upheaval around the world will influence the way we produce and experience art.

A major visual arts event in Ireland, PhotoIreland returns to the festival with five nominated artists spanning a wide range of technical and conceptual approaches. “Our approach to the selection wants to exemplify that any attempt to determine what Irish photography is has to come from a position where proper representation is given to its diversity,” says Ángel Luis González, Director of PhotoIreland.

Amongst PhotoIreland’s selected talent, Shia Conlon employs photo, film, text and sculpture to centre marginalised experiences of working class Catholic Ireland; Vera Ryklova uses her own body to explore the relationship between the self and the self-concept; artist and lecturer Becks Butler examines human behaviour and performance, while the work of Gary Loughlin and Mark McGuinness grapples with varying notions of power.

PhotoIreland will open the members’ Assembly Talks at 4PM CEST on 8 October. “One question that has come over this period of imposed isolation is on how we produce,” says Julia Gelezova, General Manager of PhotoIreland. “As the circumstances changed, we were forced to look at our production habits. Are they meaningful? How do they affect our enjoyment of life? How can we be more productive and less busy? Is there a way to work better? These are the kinds of topics we’ll be discussing.”

Watch the live stream recording here.


'Loopies Field 04' © Becks Butler
'Against Domestication' © Shia Conlon

Hyères, meanwhile, brings two nominated artists to the Futures fore. Clémence Elman graduated from the National School of Photography (ENSP) in Arles this year; she uses photographic documentary-fiction to explore notions of exoticism and the family, and is one of the photographers selected for the 35th edition of the Hyères Fashion, Photography and Fashion Accessories Festival. Alongside her, Kata Geibl — whose work investigates capitalism and the anthropocene — is this year a Grand Prix Finalist at Fotofestiwal Lodz, winner of the PHmuseum Vogue Italia Prize and is shortlisted for Palm* Photo Prize.

Hyères’ Assembly Talk will take place on 10 October at 4PM CEST. Titled “RESET: Modernity”, Sylvain Gouraud will discuss Reset Modernity, the book and exhibition by Bruno Latour, in order to shed new light on the challenges of today.

Register to watch online here.

Futures Photography Festival is on until 31 October 2020


Flossie Skelton

Flossie Skelton joined British Journal of Photography in 2019, where she is currently Commissioning Editor across awards, Studio and partner content. She does freelance writing, editing and campaign work across arts, culture and feminism; she has worked with BBC Arts, Belfast Photo Festival and Time’s Up. She is also an illustrator, with artwork published in Marie Claire, ES Magazine, Sunday Times Style and the Guardian.