Works by late French fashion photographer Guy Bourdin and Dutch artist Viviane Sassen will headline displays within this year’s Tbilisi Photo Festival, with talks, screenings and tributes all in the program of the event starting later today.
Involving works by over 350 photographers from around the world, the event is set to feature Bourdin and Sassen within its focus on the theme of fashion photography.
In a nod to the recent focus of the international media on Tbilisi as a new fashion destination, organisers said the event would explore "the connections between fashion, the tradition of identity representation, ideology and the photographic image”.
A photograph by famed late photographer Guy Bourdin. Photo: Tbilisi Photo Festival/Art + Commerce.
A screening featuring the life and career of Paris-born painter and self-taught photographer Bourdin will open the festival later today on the New Tiflis section of the Aghmashenebeli Avenue.
Known for his work for leading fashion magazines and brands including Vogue, Chanel and Ungaro, Bourdin is also recognised for heralding the importance of the image compared to the product it displays.
Taking over from the opening show, a display of works by award-winning contemporary photographer Viviane Sassen will then host viewers on Thursday at the State Museum of Literature on Chanturia Street.
Acknowledged for her interdisciplinary approach to photographic work and use of geometric shapes, Sassen has been honoured with awards including the Kees Scherer Award for Best Photobook and David Octavius Hill Award.
The festival will feature a display of fashion photography in East Germany. Photo: Tbilisi Photo Festival/Guenter Rubitzsch/AKG.
Sassen will also be involved in a discussion with the festival audience later in the week, hosted at Rooms Hotel Tbilisi.
Beside the two headlining participants, the festival will feature foreign and local artists and photo reporters including Suresh Punjabi, Guenter Rubitzsch and Shalva Alkhanaidze.
A special screening will mark the 70th anniversary of the well-known Magnum Photos cooperative, while the customary Night of Photography will open its doors to visitors at the Fabrika venue.
At TBC Art Gallery, an exhibition of photographs and stories by German photojournalist Thomas Dworzak and British reporter Julius Strauss will go on display.
A photograph of participants of the Miss Moscow beauty pageant. The photo is part of the travel journal by Thomas Dworzak and Julius Strauss across the former Soviet Union. Photo: Thomas Dworzak/Magnum Photos.
Their travel reports from Moscow, Kiev and Tbilisi were created as a homage to the famed photojournalist Robert Capa and author John Steinbeck’s unique 1947 journey throughout the Soviet Union.
Retracing the 20th century trip, Dworzak and Strauss followed stories of ordinary people and their lives on their travels earlier this year.
Other displays of the festival will showcase fashion photography in Soviet East Germany as illustrated by Guenter Rubitzsch and photographs of swimsuits in the Soviet Union from a collection of Guram Tsibakhashvili.
In another fashion-themed exhibition, Iranian fashion magazines dating from before the 1979 Islamic revolution will be presented from a collection of the festival organisers.
The festival will hold its customary Night of Photography at Fabrika. Photo: Tbilisi Photo Festival.
Also in the festival program will be a screening paying tribute to American photojournalist Stanley Greene, winner of the World Press Photo Award who died earlier this year.
Talks, public lectures and the Tbilisi Photo Book fair will complete the program of the eighth edition of the event before it concludes on September 19.
The Tbilisi Photo Festival was co-founded in 2010 by curator and reporter Nestan Nijaradze and French photographer and Liberation newspaper director of photography Lionel Charrier.
The event was established as the first annual international festival of photography in the Caucasus and has attracted a wide audience of locals and visitors of the Georgian capital at its editions.