About the Biennial
The FotoFocus Biennial is a regional, month-long celebration of photography and lens-based art held throughout Cincinnati and the surrounding region. Featuring over 60 participating museums, galleries, academic institutions, and community organizations, the 2016 Biennial will include original FotoFocus curated exhibitions and four days of events and programming, including screenings, lectures, and performances.
Photography, the Undocument, October 1–31, 2016
The FotoFocus Biennial 2016 Theme
Photography is identified with objectivity, documentation, and realism. Yet the medium essentially abstracts the visible world, reducing its surfaces to two dimensions, editing down to a narrowly chosen single frame, and often presenting the world in black and white. Digital technologies of recent decades, allowing for seamless manipulation of photographs, have further eroded photography’s documentary authority. Surrealism historically played on these contradictions, conjuring from within the photographic image the eerie, the uncanny, and the outright bizarre. “Beauty will be convulsive,” wrote André Breton in 1928, referring to art’s ability to break the surface of realism, of the everyday, to reveal sudden insights, even truths. The Undocument is an exploration of alternate understandings of the documentary photograph—its claims to objective realism and simultaneous potential for pure fantasy.
EXHIBITIONS FEATURED AT THE NATIONAL UNDERGROUND RAILROAD FREEDOM CENTER: