PHotoEspaña, Madrid

For 2013, PHotoEspaña expands its programme as it opens 74 exhibitions and activities in Madrid, Alcalá de Henares, Alcobendas, Cuenca, Lanzarote and Zaragoza. Running 5 June until 28 July, the event includes work from 328 artists from 42 different countries. Amongst those involved are Edward Weston, Harry Callahan, Shirin Neshat, Laura Torrado and Mark Shaw, and group shows with works by Ana Mendieta, Robert Doisneau, Cindy Sherman and Marina Abramovic.

Featuring three parts, there are 26 shows within the Official Section, 15 in OpenPHoto and 33 at the Festival Off. In his last year as general curator of PHE, Gerardo Mosquera has developed a themed programme that focuses on the topic, “Body. Eros and Politics.”

Concerned by a period marked by economic struggle in the cultural sector, PHotoEspaña has sought new strategies to maintain its program and its prestige. With a reduced budget and less public funding, PHotoEspaña continues as a collective project, finding support in partners that have made it possible to continue hosting one of the most important international photography events in Spain. Joining the long list of partners, including the Fundación Telefónica, the Fundación ICO and Samsung, is the Fundación Loewe and the city of Alcobendas, where the new International Photography Center PHotoEspaña will be opened.

Looking at the way photography handles the human body, the event explores both eroticism and the erotic vision without a body, directed towards the world around us. Photography has been central to the battle for female liberation, sexual orientation and the battle against discrimination. PHE seeks to examine these and other body politics as well as in the artistic practices in which the body is a cultural ground.

Photography has also documented the aggressions against the body, and while on occasion it might have fed a morbid voyeurism, it has also played a crucial role in exposing and condemning violence on a global scale. All these subjects have been touched upon by the art included in the festival, which appropriates this highly relevant aphorism: “the body is a battlefield.”

The themed program of PHE13 follows the paths developed over the past two years: looking at photography freely as the base of modern image making; decentralized and purposeful curatorship; access to wider audiences and diversification of cultural and geographic material, which includes a significant presence in Eastern Europe.

PHotoEspaña, 5 June – 28 July, Madrid.

1. Mark Shaw. Caroline Kennedy, John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy in Hyannis Point, 1959, Mark Shaw.