Picturing a world through photography does not mean copying surfaces of objects or first-sight impressions of people or relationships. Photography needs perspective, a virtual viewpoint. It needs insight.
This being said, the fourth “Fotofestival Lenzburg” (Lenzburg Festival of Photography; Switzerland), being staged from 3th September to 3rd October 2021, offers a wide range of brilliant examples of this rather complex approach to visual arts. And it is a cultural event with international appeal.
Beside the above mentioned basic esthetical reflections on seeing, perceiving and producing visual art, the festival invites, with considerable earnest and credibility, to reflect on the relationship between society and the expanding world of images. It also connects people of all ages (there is in fact a children’s program, as well) and brings them into contact with experts in regional and international photography. Thus it displays not only “l’art pour l’art” but offers offers photography a platform for dealing with socially relevant issues.
The main exhibition with internationally known photographers takes place in the “Stapferhaus” museum close to the Lenzburg railway station. Though large and complex enough to not only cover its subject and to thoroughly catch a visitor’s attention, the festival retains its intimate dimension.
This year’s main exhibition is called “The Lives of Women” and shows pictures by the American photographer Mary Ellen Mark. The renowned artist’s view on social reality is warm-hearted, compassionate but at the same time drastically real and even harsh. It is a “close-up” on human beings who find their dignity in spite of adverse conditions.
The big novelty at the “Fotofestival Lenzburg 2021” is the open-air exhibition of the award-winning images from the renowned SONY World Photography Awards, staged inside the historic and beautiful Lenzburg castle gardens. But numerous other venues are there to be explored and their intimate messages be discovered.
It not often occurs one finds visual impressions (“pictures”) that have the potential to change the viewer while experiencing their content. Lenzburg Festival of Photography has the capacity to do so.