For more than a month, from September 12th to October 25th, the Photo Festival 2020 brings the photography world to Lenzburg. Images are the universal language that connect people. The Lenzburg Photo Festival presents and conveys new photography, in intimate and manageable dimensions, which are particularly positive in times of social distancing.
The festivals program offers open-air exhibitions, international photo projects, engaging events, workshops and masterclasses, experts talks and a photo marathon.
The topic 2020
The third edition of the Lenzburg Photo Festival is all about slowing down time. The festival’s aim is to draw the attention of experts and the public to the topic, which touches everyone in different ways.
Until a few decades ago, the rhythm of nature dictated the rules of life. Today, on a personal level, it’s more about fighting for a rhythm in life. Our environment is also exposed to this stress and therefore is changed profoundly and dangerously. The sustainability of the global economic system is being questioned, the effects are strong and clearly recognizable on many levels – we are in “times under pressure”.
Photo competition and jury
323 single images and 268 portfolios were submitted to this year’s photo competition. An international jury of renowned curators and editors selected the most interesting projects. Photographers from over 20 countries took part in the photo competition. Among them, the jury prize for the best portfolio will be awarded at the opening event. The award is endowed with CHF 1500 and is sponsored by SWL Energie AG.
The jury members are Gilles Steinmann, head of the photo desk of NZZ, Audrey Hoareau, curator of Photo Basel 2020, Guido Schmidtke photo editor at STERN ,and Kathryn Cook-Pellegrin, head of creative content at the International Committee of the Red Cross. The jury is completed with festival’s director Margherita Guerra.
The selected projects particularly touched the hearts of the jury because they show in a very personal language, how difficult it is to look beyond the everyday and to search for meaning.
Time on Quaaludes and Red Wine by Anna Galí, Spain
There is Nothing New Under the Sun by Kata Geibl, Hungary
È Così la Vita by Lea Meienberg, Switzerland
Renaissance by Nils Stelte, Germany
More information about the exhibitions here.
Around 60 of the individual images submitted will be on display as an open-air exhibition during the photo festival in shop windows in Lenzburg’s old town (link to selection). Among them is the image to receive the audience award, endowed with CHF 1000, sponsored by SWL Energie AG Lenzburg. The winning photo will be chosen by the public via SMS vote and the award ceremony will take place at the finissage on October 24, 2020.
Main exhibition «DIVIDED WE STAND» – Stapferhaus, Lenzburg
International photographers Mathias Barschler and Monika Fischer are a world-famous Swiss photographer couple with Aargau roots. The two have been working together extremely successfully since 2003. Braschler / Fischer have received numerous awards, including the World Press Photo Award. Their photographs appear in numerous international magazines, have been published in book and catalog form and are exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Europe, Asia and the United States.
The exhibition “DIVIDED WE STAND”, which is presented in the prestigious Stapferhaus , is one of the highlights at this year’s photo festival. It is realized in cooperation with the Stapferhaus director Sibylle Lichtersteiger and her team and curated by Denis Curti, STILL Gallery from Milan. The focus of the series are ordinary people that the photographer couple met in 2019 on their four-month road trip in America.
Pictures and voices can tell us stories of pressure from political, social and personal changes. The Corona crisis goes down in history as a special historical event. During this time, when political decisions have shown the deadly influence they can have on people’s lives, the work of the Aargau photographers – which is shown publicly for the first time – shows how much each our lives are connected. «The photographs by Mathias Braschler and Monika Fischer are unique. There is nothing like it. They are like another human size. Their work belongs to a special genre of photography. The fixed gaze of the protagonists of “DIVIDED WE STAND” is penetrating, deeply moving» writes the world-famous curator Curti. The Stapferhaus premises provide the perfect premises for the unique pictures. The video installation works is sponsored by SONY. The series “DIVIDED WE STAND” will continue to the STILL gallery in Milan from the end of October 2020.
Open air exhibitions
Alongside the main exhibition in the Stapferhaus and the open-air shows from the photo contest, further interesting formats are presented.
Insideout project: Time! Back to life!
12.09.2020 to 25.10.2020
This year the Lenzburg Photo Festival takes part in the international Insideout project. During the festival, around 60 black and white portraits of children will decorate part of the grounds at Seetalplatz (at the Hypothekarbank). The message behind this is that the town belongs to the children and adults should take the time to respect and safeguard it.
The portraits are created by the photographers Oliver Vermeulen, Severine Nordhof and Pino Stranieri.
Warning Signs from Project Pressure
September 12th to October 25th 2020
These pictures from the international group of photographers Project Pressure deal with climate change. 25 pictures as an open-air exhibition along the Aabach invite people to think about global warming, the ever-increasing footprint of humans and, in particular, its effects on the glaciers. Since 2008, artists and scientists from the Project Pressure collective have been documenting climate change, especially the melting of glaciers. On the initiative of the Danish photographer Klaus Thymann, expeditions took place on all continents and thousands of pictures from internationally recognized photographers form a global glacier archive. This project is a collaboration with the Festival Alt + 1000 and the Museum Le Locle. The issue of climate change is of fundamental significance to reflect on the pressures we and our planet face. For this reason, the festival will be the new stage of the Warning Signs photo exhibition. Lenzburg is the second Swiss stage in the context of a world tour of the exhibition, which was developed with curator Nathalie Herschdorfer.
Participating photographers: Corey Arnold, Michael Benson, Edward Burtynsky, Scott Conarroe, Peter Funch, Noémie Goudal, Richard Mosse, Simon Norfolk, Norfolk + Thymann, Christopher Parsons, Toby Smith, Klaus Thymann.
Workshops, photo talks and photo marathon
This year the festival offers even more opportunities to get in touch with experts, learn in small groups or just have fun together.
- 16 September 2020 From picture to print: Workshop with Roberto Casavecchia from Profot . 9.30-10.30/11.00-12.00 am, Stapferhaus
- 16 September 2020 Four exciting photography topics in 60 minutes with Nick Schreger, Profot AG. 1.00-2.00/ 2.30-3.30 pm
- 18./19. September 2020 Two children’s workshops with Instax-cameras, 2-5pm, Alte Bleiche and WerkRaum 21
- 19 September 2020 2nd Lenzburg Photomarathon, Alte Bleiche
- 3 October 2020 Basic photography course with Olivier Vermeulen and Pino Stranieri, 9.00 am -4.00 pm, Alte Bleiche
- 21 October 2020 Available Light photography workshop with Dennis Savini from cap-fotoschule, 9.00-12am and 1.00-3.30pm, Stapferhaus
- 24 October 2020 Masterclass with Braschler & Fischer, 9.30-3.30pm, Stapferhaus
- 24 October 2020 Masterclass with SONY Photographer Raffaele Cabras, 9.30-3.30pm, Stapferhaus
- 24 October 2020 Talk with SONY Ambassador Thomas Wüthrich, Author of the book Doomed Paradise, about the last Penan people, from Schneidegger and Spiess, 4.15pm, Stapferhaus
- 24 October 2020 Award ceremony audience award and Finissage, 5.30-7pm, Stapferhaus
- 25 October 2020 Photography workshop: Creating salt prints, From 1pm, Stadtmuseum Aarau
Photo book corners
September 12th to October 25th 2020
Various Locations in Lenzburg
In the shops and restaurants of the city, in cooperation with the Otz bookstore, public photo book corners with photographically significant books are set up. The books will be donated to the City Library of Lenzburg, where the photo festival book collection is available all year round.
August 8th to October 28th 2020
Postcard booth «Deceleration»
As a counterpoint to “times under pressure”, the photo festival in cooperation with the local community of Lenzburg and Kromer Promotions AG brings the “deceleration cabin” into play. Instead of a quickly typed digital message, a personal postcard “Greetings from Lenzburg” can be written and sent with individual handwriting.
September 12, 2020 Opening day, Alte Bleiche and Stapferhaus
September 18, 2020 Prosecco evening with NZZ journalists Daniele Muscionico and Rafaela Roth, live music by Seraina Telli, organised with the Culture Commission, 8 pm, Burghaldenhaus
September 20, 2020 Guided tour with Braschler / Fischer, exhibition “Divided we stand”. Stapferhaus, 11.15 am.
September 22, 2020 Lecture “Under pressure” about the stress of children and adolescents in everyday life with the psychologist Magrit Stamm, 7pm, Lenzhard Schulhaus
This year’s festival T-shirts are developed out of respect for nature with the local start-up Nikin, who plants a tree for each product sold.
Ticket for the festival’s indoor exhibitions are available at the entrance to the exhibition venues (Stapferhaus and Alte Bleiche): adults CHF 13, students CHF 10, children up to 16 years and Kulturlegi free. The tickets are valid for the entire duration of the festival.
3rd Photo Festival Lenzburg – From September 12th to October 25th 2020
Cover photo: Lion attacking from the series There is Nothing New Under the Sun by Kata Geibl