The purpose of the PHOTOQUAI photography biennale is to highlight the best photography from across the globe. Since its creation in 2007 there have been four editions, giving exposure to 200 photographers, most of them unpublished in France. Running 17 September until 17 November, the festival seeks to make publicly known non-Western artists whose work remains unpublished or little known in France, to encourage the exchange of ideas and an interchange of perspectives of the world.
The system of curation, involves assigning artistic commissions to foreign professionals. This culminates in the selection of 40 photographers and the creation of networks centred around exhibitions by developing links with Parisian partner institutions, and, in particular, contemporary art galleries dedicated to international photography. For each individual edition of the biennale, the musée du quai Branly names an artistic director. The chosen director is called upon to set the desired focus for the event and to act as the instigator behind the network of commissioners for different predefined geographical zones. For each zone, artistic collaborators are given the responsibility of seeking out and discovering, at an emerging level, photography talent that is unknown in Europe in order to create a preselection of artists and works.
The focus for 2013 is Look at Me, which means all the photographic series are related to the human figure. Landscapes, objects, fashion or architecture appear in the form of elements that accompany the human being. In all of the collections it is the human form that acts as the focal point and directs the image. PHOTOQUAI includes work from Central and South America, Asia, Oceania, Africa, the Near and Middle East, Russia and many more. This large selection demonstrates the diversity of ways in which the non-European world can be viewed today by the artists who live there. The primary focus is not in reflecting photographic production from a large number of countries but on highlighting artists and their own works.
PHOTOQUAI 17 September – 17 November, musée du quai Branly, 37, quai Branly – 75007 Paris – France.
1. Brazil, Pedro DAVID Homem Pedra, Rota: Raiz.
2. China, Qingjun HUANG Family Stuff.
3. Russia, Daria TUMINAS Ivan and the Moon.