The city of Vienna will be flooded with photography during the first edition of a renewed Foto Wien. The festival, part of the European Month of Photography initiative and organised this time around by a team from Kunst Haus Wien, offers an insight into what’s going on in both the local and international photography scene. The Otto Wagner Postal Savings Bank serves as the festival headquarters, hosting a book market alongside exhibitions. Talks, workshops and portfolio reviews complete the versatile month-long programme.
One of the group exhibitions, called Über Leben am Land, focuses on life in the countryside and its image conveyed through media. Farming life can be romanticised, while life outside of cities can also be dismissed as dull or backward.
Peter Braunholz (b. 1963, Germany) explores incredibly common places and spaces, such as corners and concrete residential blocks, and finds connections and poetry in the emptiness of these everyday human constructions. For his project Topophilia, exhibited at Foto Wien, he travelled to rural regions all over Europe in order to document small town spaces. When these obvious things are brought to attention and presented in a new context, they are defamiliarized and turn into something more than what they used to be.
Eva Szombat (Hungary) spent many summers at her grandparents’ house in the countryside. Her happy memories of a free life among the animals all come back whenever she returns to rural areas. Her photographs exhibited at Foto Wien, presenting her own take on stereotypical elements from the farm, attempt to capture this nostalgia.
Foto Wien runs from March 20 until April 20, 2019, in various locations throughout the city of Vienna, Austria.
Peter Braunholz and Eva Szombat take over the GUP Instagram between February 21 and March 2.