FotoFocus sets 6th show for fall

FotoFocus announced plans for the sixth edition of the FotoFocus Biennial — the largest of its kind in America — which will take place in Greater Cincinnati, Dayton and Columbus this October.

FotoFocus is a Cincinnati-based nonprofit arts organization that champions photography and lens-based art through exhibitions and public programming.

An ambitious collaboration between FotoFocus and the region’s museums, galleries, universities and non-traditional spaces, the FotoFocus Biennial is a month-long celebration of photography and lens-based art that unites artists, curators, and educators from around the world. This year’s biennial will showcase major new artist commissions and a wide range of original exhibitions, events, and projects, all centered around the theme of World Record. Programming will be overseen by the FotoFocus curatorial team and a number of special guest curators.

A July 1981 Senate hearing on an abortion ban bill as seen in a photograph by Joan Biren

This year’s theme considers photography’s extensive record of life on earth, humankind’s impact on the natural world, and the choices we now face as a global community.

Topics addressed will include nature, science, and exploration; outer space and space travel; climate change and its impact; human social lives within various environments, cultural and natural; forms of energy, past and present; the cultivation of natural resources; and utopian and dystopian visions of man in nature.

“Our world has reached a critical turning point,” said FotoFocus Artistic Director and Curator Kevin Moore. “Using the medium of photography, we want to question how we got to where we are now and what comes next. We hope to engage people with important, worldwide issues — from Ariel Goldberg’s group show exploring the LGBTQ+ and feminist grassroots activism of the ‘70s through ‘90s, to my exhibition with Makeda Best demonstrating the ways artists deal with the complexity of life within various social, political, and natural environments.”

Taking part in the FotoFocus Biennial for the first time this year is the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, while returning partners include the Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Center, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Taft Museum of Art, The Carnegie and Art Academy of Cincinnati.

Since 2010, FotoFocus has engaged art and educational institutions throughout the region to support and expand the cultural dialogue around the medium that has come to define our time. With an emphasis on intellectually and academically rigorous programs, the organization provides uniquely enriching access to lens-based art, film, and practices inspired by photography. FotoFocus has collaborated with organizations, curators, academics, and more than 1600 artists and participants, to present over 750 exhibitions and programs. FotoFocus has awarded close to 600 grants to support partners presenting projects and educational programs that are accessible and engaging to the public. In April 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, FotoFocus pledged part of its 2020 Biennial budget to financially support more than 100 participating venues and partners in the region’s art community through FotoFocus Emergency Art Grants.

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