FotoFocus outlines featured projects for 2024 biennial

The creative team behind the upcoming FotoFocus Biennial have unveiled ambitious plans for the month-long photography showcase. Centered around the theme of “backstories,” organizers expect 2024 to be the largest show in event history.

FotoFocus is a collaboration between the region’s museums, galleries, universities and public spaces to celebrate lens-based art. It’s one of the most significant events of its kind in the United States.

For the upcoming seventh biennial, organizers have cobbled together more than 30 days of programming, starting with the opening weekend Sept. 26–28 and running throughout October.

In total, there will be 106 projects presented at 83 venues spread across ​Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus and Northern Kentucky. 

“FotoFocus is delighted to once again partner with local, regional, and global artists and institutions to bring exceptional programming to Cincinnati and beyond,” said Katherine Ryckman Siegwarth, FotoFocus’ executive director.

Telling a (back)story with a camera

For 2024, the major FotoFocus exhibits will center around the notion of past experiences and their impacts on our lives and art. Selected displays – including several commissions – invite audiences to ponder the relationships between artists, subjects and the circumstances surrounding them, according to Ryckman Siegwarth.

The theme of “backstories” echoes throughout each of the 15 Biennial Featured Projects. Those include the unprecedented exhibition shedding light on Ansel Adams’ earliest works at the Cincinnati Art Museum as well as the first American survey of work by Barbara Probst at the Contemporary Arts Center.

Other works include the first comprehensive museum presentation by Nigerian-British photographer Rotimi Fani-Kayode at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus; three exhibitions by Columbus-raised Ming Smith at the Columbus Museum of Art and the Wexner Center; and a solo exhibition at the CAC with a newly commissioned mural by Chip Thomas.

Barbara Probst, Exposure #185: Munich, Nederlingerstrasse 68, 04.21.23, 2:35 p.m., 2023. Courtesy of the artist.

Group exhibitions include “Southern Democratic” at The Carnegie, a meditation by 15 contemporary artists on William Eggleston’s Election Eve photographs. “Memory Fields” at the Alice F. and Harris K. Weston Art Gallery will examine connections between culture, place and memory.

A new initiative FotoFocus is introducing this year is the “Call of Entry” selection. These six projects – produced by independent, regional creatives – celebrate emerging and distinct talents of our community. They focus on the theme of “backstories” as well.

Selections include “Digressions” and “Another First Impression,” exhibitions highlighting life in the Midwest; “Humphrey Gets His Flowers” and “The Trail of the Dead,” both described by FotoFocus as “cathartic explorations of personal histories;” an intimate portrayal of refugee families in “More Than Meets the Eye;” and “Artist Run,” a photo-based tour of Cincinnati’s historical artist-run spaces.

Additional details about the artists, exhibitions and other FotoFocus programming are available on the event website.

“We are eager to welcome attendees from all over the world to our biggest biennial yet,” Ryckman Siegwarth said.

FotoFocus 


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