HYBRIDS_Futures 2021

Futures and Melkweg Expo present HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative in Amsterdam

Futures and Melkweg Expo present HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative, which takes place both in Amsterdam (NL) and online, until October 17, 2021. HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative celebrates the new names in contemporary photography with talks, exhibitions and other activities.

Co-financed by the Creative Europe program of the European Union, the festival brings together the work of more than 70 artists and the experience of the 13 European photography institutions that are part of the Futures platform, including PHotoESPAÑA. The proposed program for this year's edition, HYBRIDS: Forging New Realities as Counter-Narrative develops as its main theme the investigation of how our reality is challenged by artistic experimentation and counter-narratives.


After a year of comings and goings, of uncertainties, the reality of 2021 is anything but balanced. Waves of counter-narratives continue to flourish and subvert our knowledge base, flooding the frames that once navigated our senses of being and belonging. Driven by the fusion of the physical and the virtual, Europe now watches as the young generations of creators try to foster a new cultural literacy; searching, breaking and reworking its means and conceptual molds. But can we define a direction in all this disorder? Within this climate of hybrid experimentation, we are witnessing new realities forge every day. What new ways of doing, narrating and understanding are here to stay, and what can we do with the horizon that lies ahead?


Eleven artists will explore the main themes in a hybrid exhibition, showing their work at the Melkweg Expo, as well as in a digital environment, activated by QR codes. The artists were selected through an open call for all those talents who had joined the platform over the last four years.. Among the eleven artists in this exhibition is Charles Alba, author nominated by PHotoESPAÑA in this edition of 2021. Using different media in dialogue with photography, the projects investigate the impact of the production of technology and knowledge on humanity and the natural world. The exhibition is curated by Marina Paulenka (Founder and former artistic director of Organ Vida and former artistic director of Unseen).

Artists selected for the exhibition: Maija Savolainen, Hien Hoang, Emily Graham, Carlos Alba, Eva Kreuger, Marta Bogdanska, Alexey Shlyk, Valeria Cherchi, Io Sivertsen and Lena Dobrowolska & Teo Ormond-Skeaping.

In addition, within the opening week, the artist Jean-Vincent Simonet will give a live performance, at the MILK CAFÉ in Melkweb. The project 'Mechanical Paintings' will soon be featured in a Futures publication, which will be released this winter.


Each year, members of Futures nominate emerging artists to join the project. As in previous years, these new names in contemporary photography will be featured in Future Talents 2021. Curated by the platform, this show features 68 talents exploring themes and inspirations common to their work.


Together with the rest of the Futures member institutions, the curator Marina Paulenka organizes a program of panels and talks with artists, inspired by the main theme of the festival edition. Among the guests we find relevant voices of contemporary photography, as well as other equally important fields of interest. The talk program will take place on September 16 and 17, will be broadcast live and will later be available on the Futures website. For more information, you can consult the Futures website, as well as follow their official accounts and channels.


The festival is also an opportunity for the artists and institutions that are part of Futures to meet and share experiences. As in other years, the program includes a series of private events dedicated exclusively to the members of the platform. In 2021, the 68 Futures artists are invited to participate in the workshop 'Art in Action-Climate and Social Responsibility' that will be given by the curator and co-founder of Fotofestiwal Lodz, Krzysztof Candrowicz.


The main theme will also be explored through a post to be released after the festival. Edited by visual artist and educator Salvatore Vitale, this publication connects artists, writers, and other contributors to discuss significant advancements in the cultural arena through critical essays, in-depth interviews, artist projects, and a visual essay that was selected from among all the participants of the open call.

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