Reimagining the family portrait
A residency program
The making of a family photo until the mid-20th century was an extraordinary once in a lifetime event. It was often created in a studio, subjects were lent clothes and accessories and the photograph was sometimes hand-painted to colour or embellished with gold/silver for a richer look. Setting the models, the frame, the lens was a long process and the result was nothing like an instantaneous click on the spot.
Family photos are an essential testimony of the way of life of a given period of time. They inform on the social status of the subject family, the event for which the photo was taken, the selection of family members displayed in the photo. The sociological background of the group is reflected in the print. The family was often depicted in a way to figure the social group that was by then considered as ideal. The usual family patterns have been married couples with children, sometimes along with the grandparents. The group that is now considered to be a family is no longer with the same cast. On the photographer's side, the information lies on his social status, on the image he reworks on to adjust the result to his own and the client's expectations.
This project invites photographers and lens-based artists to reimagine the Family Portrait by establishing the transition from the accepted definition of 'the family' to what it represents today. With support from the Franco-German Cultural Fund, the Alliance Française of Madras, Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan Chennai and the Chennai Photo Biennale Foundation invite submissions from artists and image practitioners who seek to reflect on the “Modern Family representation” in their work and documentary practices. In any case, an exploration of innovative ways of looking at socio-cultural and ethnographic histories, value-systems and current familial equations from different sections of society, including your own, is particularly encouraged.
This is an open call for proposals on the theme ‘Reimagining the Family Portrait’ - the proposals can be a work-in-progress or proposed ideas for a new project. A team of experts from France, Germany and India respectively will be mentoring 8-10 selected applicants from the ideation stage and guide them through the direction each project will take forward.
The residency will be conducted within the period September - November 2019 in two phases with three mentors, some of it as live sessions in Chennai and the remainder of it remotely via skype and email.
Each participant will be allotted a total grant of INR 40,000 towards travel, accommodation and required research. Attendance is mandatory for both phases of the residency.
Details of Residency
Phase 1: Sep 27 - Oct 5 | Phase 2: Nov 1 - 3
Participants will be introduced to the mentors via skype sessions and will start ideating and discussing their respective projects with Martine Fougeron before their arrival in Chennai.
Sep 27: Martine Fougeron will kickstart the residency with introductions and a theoretical session on how to read a portrait, the history of the portrait and begin work on project ideas. 13Jara will also be present to give initial guidance to the participants for the multimedia workshop in November and outline additional elements to capture and think about that will add value to the making of a multimedia presentation for each participant project.
Sep 28 - Oct 5: Participants work with Martine on their projects
Oct 6 - Oct 31: Participants continue to build their bodies of work in guidance and discussion with Martine Fougeron via skype and email.
Nov 1 - 3: Martine Fougeron and Markus Dreßen meet along with participants to discuss the next leg of the residency for the zine workshop and to give an introduction to Markus on each participant’s project.
Nov 4 - Nov 10 Markus Dreßen, Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Leipzig will mentor the creation of zines with the works produced by the participants.
Nov 11 - Nov 17 13 Jara will mentor participants on how to use multimedia for their work produced.
Nov 17 A final presentation for the Residency Project with all participants in attendance. On display will be the dummy copies of the Zines as well as the digital multimedia showcase. Martine Fougeron and Markus Dreßen will be looped in through Skype for interactions.
How to Apply
There might be a possibility of Phase III of the residency, post-Jan 2020. This will be evaluated by the mentors and organiser on the basis of the quality of the works produced and opportunities for further funding to develop a more significant showcase including but not limited to a published photo book and/or exhibition during Chennai Photo Biennale 3rd edition.
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