A Glance at the 2013 LOOK3 Photo Festival

3 minute read

For three days this week, photo enthusiasts from around the world will descend on the tree-lined downtown district of Charlottesville, Va. Working professionals and amateurs will mill about the neighborhood’s exhibition spaces, portfolio review venues, workshops, performance halls and cafes alongside icons and living legends. The seventh-annual LOOK3 Festival, which plays off the tagline of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival, promises a weekend of “peace, love and photography” — presumably with less mud wrestling and mind-altering experiences.

Though not necessarily. In addition to showcasing work from a diverse range of artists, “we also wanted to create a kind of Happening,” Melissa Harris tells TIME. She is the Editor-in-Chief at Aperture Foundation and co-curated this year’s festival alongside Yolanda Cuomo, Creative Director at Yolanda Cuomo Design and designer of some of the strongest photo books of the last three decades.

Together, they focused on culling exhibitions that are “provocatively experiential and at times intrinsically site-specific,” says Harris. “We wanted to play with scale and different media and textures.”

National Geographic photographer Tim Laman, for instance, who spent a decade documenting every known species of the Birds-of-Paradise, will be exhibiting his work on large banners suspended high in the trees of Charlottesville’s outdoor pedestrian mall.

This year promises more featured ‘INsight Artists’ than in years past, including Gregory Crewdson, Susan Meiselas, Richard Misrach, Michael Nichols, Josef Koudelka and Carrie Mae Weems. In addition to their exhibitions, each of these influential photographers will participate in onstage conversations with an interviewer and large-scale projections of their work in the background.

“The artists are super intelligent and eloquent,” Harris says, “and we wanted to give them time onstage to present the breadth of their work, so viewers who are not aware of it take away a larger context.”

On Friday and Saturday night, there will be a two-hour outdoor multimedia projection of a variety of innovative projects. Many of these artists, whose work lies at the intersection of photojournalism and fine art, have appeared on LightBox, including Nina Berman, Pari Dukovic, Natan Dvir, Donna Ferrato, Stanley Greene, Zhang Kechun, Lisa Kereszi, Paolo Pellegrin, Eugene Richards, Shaul Schwarz, Mikhail Subotzky and Patrick Waterhouse, Will Steacy and Peter van Agtmael.

“There is definitely not a theme,” Harris adds. “LOOK3 is a celebration of each individual artist and his or her respective work and voice.”

LOOK3: The Festival of the Photograph will be held in Charlottesville, Va. from June 13 – 15, 2013.

Eugene Reznik is a Brooklyn-based photographer and writer. Follow him on Twitter @eugene_reznik.

© Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos NICARAGUA. Managua. 1979. Street fighter.
Street fighter, Managua, Nicaragua, 1979.Susan Meiselas—Magnum/Courtesy LOOK3
© Susan Meiselas/Magnum Photos. USA. Tunbridge, Vermont. 1974. Lulu and Debbie.
Lulu and Debbie, Tunbridge, Vermont, 1974.Susan Meiselas—Magnum/Courtesy LOOK3
Untitled, 2007
Untitled, 2007, from Beneath The Roses.Gregory Crewdson—Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.
Untitled (13)
Untitled (13), 2009, from Sanctuary.Gregory Crewdson—Courtesy Gagosian Gallery.
© Michael Nichols.Title: Crocodile Tail Location and Date: Zakouma National Park, Chad, 2006. Caption: This camera trap was set up to capture a crocodile coming and going from its riverside den. When I came to Zakouma National Park in southern Chad with Mike Fay, I found Spaniard Luis Arranz and his team holding together a fragile Eden on the edge of chaos.The yearly bounty created by rains and flooding is followed by a period of severe drought. This was the most dynamic ecosystem I had ever seen.
Crocodile Tail, Zakouma National Park, Chad, 2006.Michael Nichols—National Geographic
Image Number: 491887Title: Charging ElephantLocation and Date: Near Dzanga Bai, Central African Republic, 1993Caption: Knowing that elephants liked to feed at night in the small creek near Andrea Turkalo’s camp, I would slip out just before dawn to have a look. I made this image just as I started to run.NGM 07/1995: Taking charge, a forest elephant guards her ground at Dzanga Bai. Attracted by salt-rich soil, most elephants arrive in a group consisting of an adult female and her offspring (males leave the family upon reaching sexual maturity). They peacefully share Dzanga with bongo, sitatungas, and forest buffalo--but if threatened by humans, females will charge. "Males," observes biologist Andrea Turkalo, "prefer to flee rather than risk confrontation" (cover, page 22-3). Exhibit Caption: All forest elephants fear humans and this elephant charged in response to the photographer's scent.
Charging Elephant near Dzanga Bai, Central African Republic, 1993Michael Nichols—National Geographic
© Tim Laman. Greater Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea apoda). Badigaki Forest, Wokam Island in the Aru Islands, Indonesia.
Greater Bird of Paradise (Paradisaea apoda). Badigaki Forest, Wokam Island in the Aru Islands, Indonesia.Tim Laman
© Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos. CZECHOSLOVAKIA. 1968. Prague. Invasion of Warsaw Pact troops.Contact email New York: photography@magnumphotos.comFrom the Invasion 68 Prague project.
Invasion of Warsaw Pact troops, Prague, 1968.Josef Koudelka—Magnum/Courtesy LOOK3
© Josef Koudelka/Magnum Photos. CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Prague. August 1968. Warsaw Pact troops invade Prague. In front of the Radio Headquarters. Contact email New York: photography@magnumphotos.comFrom the Invasion 68 Prague project.
Warsaw Pact troops invade Prague in front of the Radio Headquarters, Prague, August 1968.Josef Koudelka—Magnum/Courtesy LOOK3
Election (Lynndie)Martha Rosler—Courtesy LOOK3
GladiatorsMartha Rosler—Courtesy LOOK3
The First Major Blow from Constructing History: A Requiem to Mar
The First Major Blow from Constructing History: A Requiem to Mark the Moment, 2008.Carrie Mae Weems—Courtesy the Artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York
© Richard Misrach. Swamp and Pipeline, Geismar, Louisiana, 1998, from Petrochemical America, Aperture 2012.
Swamp and Pipeline, Geismar, Louisiana, 1998, from Petrochemical America, Aperture 2012.Richard Misrach

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