The Photobook and the City
You are the curatorial team behind Fotobokfestival Oslo 2022. How would you describe this year's program, and what have you wanted to highlight?
This year we decided to leave the usual area where the festival took place - Arbeidersamfunnets square - and come back to the familiar surroundings of Møllergata street where Forbundet Frie Fotografer (FFF) has its headquarters. We wanted to wrap this year's theme around the urban environment, city, and neighbourhood. We tried the idea of activating the area and collaborating with the institutions and agents around it.
We prepared an exhibition in Kristeparken of Møllergata primary school students who went to the streets to photograph and make photobooks of their own.
In Møllergata skole there will be 2 days with a photo book fair, discussion panels, seminars and presentations.
Deichmanske Library in Barcode will host an exhibition by Jon Benjamin Tallerås: 'En snok i bystrukturens randsoner' as a part of the festival's satellites.
Vega Scene is screening the movie "Shooting Holly Land" about the work process of Czech photographer Josef Koudelka who worked in the wall that divide Palestina and Israel.
So we have a good packed program ahead these days.
In the coming weekend, you will host a book fair with invited publishers, artists and sponsors at Møllergata skole. What will be going on at this two-day fair?
We invited publishers mostly from Nordics to come for the fair. They will present their books and offer them for sale. We also invited experts to give talks and do portfolio reviews. The portfolio reviews will be 30 minutes slots where people can get feedback on their ongoing projects. The reviewers are Marta Dahó, Brad Feuerhelm, Moritz Neumüller, Dan Mariner - NOUA and Monica Allende.
Christian Andre Strand will also pop a champagne over his newly published book called "Nature Plastic".
The talks will be presented by Marta Dahó and Brad Feuerhelm followed by a panel debate. There will be also a focus on Norwegian photo book publishing during the talk between Terje Abusdal, Damian Heinisch & Line Bøhmer Løkken followed by a presentation of photobooks by FFF members.
And of course, there will be several presentations of new releases from Norwegian artists on Sunday
Fotogalleriet will host the installation 'The Big Book' where you have invited artists based in Oslo to give the audience a personal glimpse of living in this city. Could you elaborate a bit on this concept and who the participants are?
The idea behind this was to make something site-specific for the festival. A total of 10 photographers have been assigned to the project of making a "Big Book of Oslo". One of the limitations of the photographs was that they had to be photographed on mobile phones. That created in our opinion quite a raw look into the life on the streets of Oslo. The photographers come from very different backgrounds and styles, and that gives a very particular touch to every single chapter.
The artist taking part in this book are Christian Andre Strand, Espen Ideen, Giulia Mangione, Gonçalo Carvalho, Jakub Baloun, Jason Havneraas, Julie Hrncirova, Katharine McDaid, Linda Bournane Engelberth and Tor Ulstein.
You can see the installation in Fotogalleriet during the whole festival, it is a unique opportunity that something like a book, that is a piece made to remain, on this occasion it is something very ephemeral.
For those who are considering making a photo book of their own, there will be a workshop at Grafill Saturday, September 3rd. What will be on the agenda in this workshop, and how does one enrol?
The workshop is hold by Line Bøhmer Løkken of Multipress forlag. She will talk about photo book publishing. She has a lot of experience. She also will go over dummies and ongoing projects of the participants. The open call for the workshop is open until the 28th of August and you can apply via email at email@example.com with a PDF or web link of your latest project. We will do a selection of the candidates and they will be able to work closely with Line during the workshop.
Do you have any personal favourites that you are looking particularly forward to in this year's program?
Jan: I am stoked about the weekend program with talks and people coming by to see photobooks. Also, I can not wait to find a bit more slow moment and look through all the amazing books we got this year there is a lot to look at.
Jon: I am very happy with the result of The Oslo Big Book installation we have done. We wanted to trespass the pure book format to a more installation solution and it turned out quite nice. It is a project that maybe we would love to continue in other cities, with other photographers, etc. It has become a very special piece that I think people will remember for some years.
FOTOBOKFESTIVAL OSLO TAKES PLACE FROM 25.08. TILL 04.09, AT A SELECTION OF VENUES. OSLO FOTOKUNSTSKOLE IS PARTICIPATING IN THE BOOK FAIR AT MØLLERGATA SKOLE, WITH BOOKS FROM STUDENTS AND FACULTY MEMBERS. SEE FOTOBOKFESTIVALOSLO.NO FOR THE COMPLETE PROGRAM. THE ANNUAL FESTIVAL IS ORGANIZED BY FORBUNDET FRIE FOTOGRAFER. THE CURATORIAL DUO JAN KHÜR AND JON GOROSPE RUN THE PLATFORM NORWEGIAN PHOTOGRAPHY NOW.