What happens when you ask 150 photographers in Switzerland to show their favorite works of the past year?
Something like photo17 is what happens: Five formerly industrial halls in Zürich, repurposed as a walk-through museum showcasing a cross section of photographic styles. In this day and age, some might be quick to label it a "pop-up museum." We respectfully disagree, because photo17 has long established itself as the major exhibit for Swiss photography.
Among this year's selection are press and agency photographers, as well as others with a forté in art, food, architecture or advertising. The selection is well balanced, and it is refreshing to see lots of black & white images. (In the absence of color, every stroke in a curvy landscape or every wrinkle in a human portrait seems to carry that much more weight.)
As an official media partner, Newly Swissed was invited to the opening night of photo17. Our advice for the coming days: It pays to show up early as the exhibit will attract lots of visitors. Start way in the back of the main hall and work your way up front as you browse the aisles. Here are some of our favorite discoveries, but rest assured that there are dozens more which are just waiting to be found!
The work of Pedro Rodrigues, a Portugese photographer, immediately captured our attention. His aim seems to be showing regular folks what life on a distant planet might be like:
Acclaimed portrait photographer Florian Kalotay has pulled off a series of retro looking party shots from inside a Zürich restaurant:
And lovely Tina Sturzenegger mesmerized us with her Japan series. We asked this food photographer about her objective: "I felt the urge to infuse food into photographs of everyday Japan. The result is a sort of fantasy world where food is creeping up on unsuspecting people."
(This photograph, which also acts as the feature photograph, is copyright Tina Sturzenegger)
Aside from the main exhibit, photo17 has also created a platform for photographers with star credentials to talk about their careers. This year's photoFORUM line-up lists illustrious names such as Martin Parr, a world renowned Magnum photographer:
(Photograph copyright Martin Parr)