- Text by HUCK HQ
Tomorrow, the Tbilisi Photo Festival – the only event of its kind in south Caucasus – returns for the eighth consecutive year. Dubbed as a creative “meeting ground” between the east and west, the week-long festival draws photographers from across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
This year’s theme is “fashion,” and the lineup is probably the most provocative and diverse yet. From the daring to the seductive, organisers are hoping to emphasise “all existing connections between fashion, the tradition of identity representation, ideology and the photographic image.”
Representing Europe, there’s Guy Bourdin and Vivianne Sassen – two artists who have rewritten the rules of fashion photography. The former, seen as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, is known for his surreal, enigmatic portraits. The latter, a breakout star of the 21st, is known for her daring, conceptual compositions. Both will be heading up the festival with their own shows.
A group show, called Identities, will bring together work from across the east and west. The collection, which consists mostly of “found” images, will look at the way personal identity is portrayed through photography, particularly in the Middle East and Asia. The show will include 1970s studio portraits from Indian photographer Suresh Punjabi, and Thomas Dworzak’s acclaimed Taliban portrait series. Never-before-seen fashion spreads from pre-Islamic revolution Iran will also feature.
The festival will also host the first exhibition of Thomas Dworzak’s Russian Journal Revisited – a reinterpretation of John Steinbeck’s 1947 tour of the USSR. The trip saw the author visit Georgia, Ukraine and Russia shortly after the second world war, alongside Magnum agency co-founder Robert Capa.
Other highlights include a tribute to the late American photojournalist Stanley Greene, a selection of open-air night screenings, and a celebration of Magnum’s 70th anniversary. The full schedule can be seen on the festival’s official website.