Stefanos Tsivopoulos, film still from History Zero, 2013, © Stefanos Tsivopoulos, courtesy Stefanos Tsivopoulos and Kalfayan Galleries, Athens – Thessaloniki

The artists about [7P]

"One of the best photography exhibitions I have seen in the past years, better call it a "Photography Documenta"; Urs Stahel's curating is thematic, smart, chaotic and important, bringing up and exposing whatever the eyes and ears want to ignore these days.“
Ilit Azoulay

"Excellent selection and mix of artists. It was a long time that I don’t saw a good show, festival like this.“
Yann Mingard

"Precise in concept and presentation of photographs, repeatedly new and surprising visual concepts which thematize social issues confront the visitor from one exhibition venue to the next. At the same time, the topics are so current that the Fotofestival even makes reference to the latest developments in Europe.“
Henrik Spohler


The exhibition [7] Places [7] Precarious Fields installs, in [7] museums and art venues, [7] precarious fields of our society today and discusses them on the basis of chiefly contemporary photographic and video works.
In a blend of documentary and artistic works, of murals, projections, installations, showcase works, films and videos, a discursive climate that is also optically visible is to be generated, a climate that meets the requirements for dealing with these themes. The exhibition deals with uprooting, delocalization, alienation, with high-tech production and social control, with real and virtual migration; with aggrandized self-images, highly-strung psyches, inordinate rapacity, with narcissism and loss of self-control, and finally with violence, surveillance and punishment. And, of course, communication and control through photographic images will likewise be a central focus of the project.

Via the works of photographers and artists, the [7] exhibitions intend to look these real situations in the face. Even if every reflection on the real always contains something fictive at the same time: Photography (photographers and artists) has always dealt particularly intensively, in recent decades, with social and economic relationships in today's world. The crucial point of the exhibitions will be that it will not be classic photographic thinking that is brought to bear (pointing its finger, this thinking believes it can name the world's problems and, through naming, solve them), but contemporary and videographic positions that get to work in these critical, precarious fields, that work inside them – questioning, seeking, testing, formulating.

Fotofestival Mannheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg is sponsored by the premium sponsor BASF SE and the principal sponsor MVV Energie AG.


Free admission for students during the final Festival week
Please spread the word!
We have some "glad tidings" to announce for students of all subjects, at all universities:

The Fotofestival's aim for 2015 is to be more appealing to young people, to gain their enthusiasm for contemporary photographic art by means of high-quality exhibitions and educational formats.

With this aim in mind, we have decided to grant free admission to all exhibitions of the Fotofestival during the final week of the Festival's duration, from 10 until 15 November, to students from all unis and all subjects on presentation of valid student ID.

Photo: Installation view of Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier, Double Extension Beauty Tubes, 2010. © Stefan Lehnert / Media Centre of Universitätsklinik Heidelberg

Foto Voices - We talk Photography
7 November 2015, 5 p.m., Port25 - Raum für Gegenwartskunst, Mannheim

New realities in documentary photography

The event will introduce five individual positions who have been selected by photography experts from our Portfolio Review format. Backgrounds and artistic processes will be discussed in a dialogue among artists, photography experts and the public.

The presenting photographers and their topics are:

LAIA ABRIL, Asexualtity and Gender // ANDREAS STALDER, Childhood Memories in the Unconventional Family Context // INGO STURM, Relationship between Nature, City and Mobility // MARVIN HÜTTERMANN, Death and Dying // SABINE LEWANDOWSKI, Trisomy 21.

Culture journalist ANNIKA WIND will moderate the lectures and lead the discussion. The following photography experts will be in attendance: ARIANE BRAUN, deputy Head of Publishing at Kehrer Verlag // SOLVEJ H. OVESEN, Curator of the 4th Fotofestival // MARKUS WECKESSER, The PhotoBookMuseum Cologne and freelance culture journalist specialising in photography

The event is free of charge.

Portfolio Review - Opening of the Exhibition of Favourites
New realities in documentary photography
Our Portfolio Review format offered photographers the opportunity for dialogue with the Fotofestival’s participating artists and renowned experts on the photography scene.

Three favourites were selected by the expert jury. Their works will be put on show in a dedicated exhibition at the Heidelberger FORUM für KUNST.

Kirill Ovchinnikov (*1965)
Herbert Naumann (*1950)
Julia Autz (*1988)

Introduction: Benedikt Stegmeyer

Heidelberger FORUM für KUNST
Heiliggeiststr. 21
69117 Heidelberg

Fon 06221 - 24023
Fax 06221 – 658775

Exclusive Curator Tours
In addition to many other exciting events, Fotofestival´s supporting programme offers curator tours with Urs Stahel!
SAT | 17.10.15 | 5.00 p.m. | Kunsthalle Mannheim
FRI | 6.11.15 | 3.00 p.m. | Sammlung Prinzhorn
FRI | 06.11.15 | 4.30 p.m. | Heidelberger Kunstverein
SAT | 7.11.15 | 11.00 a.m. | Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst
SAT | 07.11.15 | 3.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m. | Wilhelm-Hack-Museum and Kunstverein Ludwigshafen
Start: Wilhelm-Hack-Museum
FRI | 13.11.15 | 4.00 p.m. | Kunsthalle Mannheim
FRI | 13.11.15 | 5.30 p.m. | ZEPHYR – Raum für Fotografie
SAT | 14.11.15 | 3.30 p.m. – 6.00 p.m. | Wilhelm-Hack-Museum and Kunstverein Ludwigshafen
Start: Wilhelm-Hack-Museum

More information about the supporting programme´s events can be found here.

Today´s Artist Lectures: Jules Spinatsch, Ilit Azoulay and Paolo Woods & Gabriele Galimberti
1.30 p.m. | PORT25
Swiss artist Jules Spinatsch, who carried out the in-situ project of the 6th Fotofestival, talks about "semiautomatic photography" as one of his documentary strategies. In parallel with the Festival’s curatorial concept Spinatsch produced seven new works with computer controlled cameras in the Rhine-Neckar area: One for each of the seven exhibition topics.

2.30 p.m. | PORT25
Language: English
Israeli artist Ilit Azoulay reports on her artistic work, for which she looks for photographic material for her utopian photo montages in houses cleared for demolition in the southern districts of Tel-Aviv. These houses were built during the immigration boom in the 1940s and 50s. Exhibition [7.5] Knowledge, Order, Power at Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst is showing her works Shifting Degrees of Certainty, Third Option and Seventh Option.

3.30 p.m. | PORT25

Today´s Artist Lectures: Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier and George Legrady
Additionally to the previous artist lectures, there are two more about to take place at september the 18th. Not only the duo Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier, but also George Legrady, coming from Santa Barbara, will allow exclusive insights.
Swiss artist duo Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier, who photographed and filmed teenagers over two years, talk about their work. The 10-channel projection Double Extension Beauty Tubes, which arose from this comprehensive collection of photos and videos, is on show in exhibition [7.6.] Ego-Fest & Self-Stress at Sammlung Prinzhorn in Heidelberg.

Language: English
Internationally known artist George Legrady is, alongside Marco Pinter and Danny Bazo, a founding member of ExpVisLab, an artists’ collective from California, and director of The Experimental Visualization Lab on the Media Arts and Technology (MAT) programme at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The series AutoVision by The Experimental Visualization Lab is on show in exhibition [7.7] Communication and Control at Heidelberger Kunstverein. tverein.

Today´s Artist Lectures: Julika Rudelius and Thomas Hirschhorn
Before the grand opening begins at the Wilhelm-Hack-Museum (17.09, 7.00 p.m.), you are warmly invited to visit two artist lectures. In the Kunstverein Ludwigshafen, the artists Julika Rudelius and Thomas Hirschhorn talk about their exhibited work.
Internationally renowned video artist Julika Rudelius talks about her works Liaison and Dressage, which are on show in exhibition [7.2] Violence and Destruction at Kunstverein Ludwigshafen.

Swiss installation artist Thomas Hirschhorn, who has already shown works at Documenta11 and the Biennale di Venezia, talks about his artistic work and in particular about the series CollageTruth, which is on show in the exhibition [7.2] Violence and Destruction at Kunstverein Ludwigshafen.

Fotofestival App
3 Cities, 7 Exhibition Venues and 1 App
This year we are adding to our range and offering you a free app to accompany the Festival!
One app to serve as your compass through our 7 exhibition locations in the cities of Mannheim, Heidelberg and Ludwigshafen, to get you from one exhibition location to the next the fastest way possible and provide you with information on getting there by public transport. Additionally, the app provides exciting information all about the Festival, the exhibition venues, and the exhibition topics being dealt with and the artists on show. Our Newsfeed, in addition, has up-to-date news and information about the supporting programme at the ready.

Edition Sale - 49 Unique Pieces by Artist Jules Spinatsch
First come, first served!
As a special highlight, this year a series of unique pieces from the oeuvre of Swiss artist Jules Spinatsch will be on offer!
49 single images from the work created for the Fotofestival in the Rhine-Neckar region. Tanzboden 1 is exclusively provided by the artist for sale at the Festival. These single images will appear only once in this form and are exclusively available from us.

So it pays to be quick!
(The artist reserves the right to offer all images in package form as an Edition.)
Title: Tanzboden 49 | 39 x 26 cm | signed |Price: 250 Euro

The Supporting Programme for [7] Places [7] Precarious Fields
On our homepage you can now find comprehensive information on the events in our supporting programme.
In addition to the regular mediation range by the [7] participating institutions, we are offering exclusive guided tours with experts from different fields of expertise, the directors of the art venues and museums as well as with the Fotofestival's curator – Urs Stahel.

You can download our programme booklet as a PDF from our section

Save the date! Formal opening of the Fotofestival
On Thursday, September 17, 2015, the opening of [7P] - [7] Places [7] Precarious Fields will be celebrated at Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen.
On the following two days the Festival cities Mannheim and Heidelberg are at the focus of the festivities:

Friday, 18.09.2015 at 19:00 at the Heidelberger Kunstverein

Saturday, 19.9.2015
11 a.m.| Port25 – Raum für Gegenwartskunst
18:30 | Kunsthalle Mannheim

We are looking forward to welcoming you!

The Registration Period for the Portfolio Review has been extended
Photographers still have time to apply by 31 August in order to secure a place at the portfolio review with experts from the international photography scene!
The Portfolio Review places the topic, “New realities in documentary photography” at the focus. This year once again, outstanding positions will be nominated by the reviewers. Three favourites will be given the opportunity to present their works to a broad public from 16 October until the end of the Festival duration. The exhibition of favourites will take place at Heidelberger FORUM für KUNST.

All important information, the participating photography experts’ consultative focuses, along with the registration form can be found [] here.

Photo: © Toni Montana Studios

Artist Lectures - New Supporting Programme Format
Within the framework of the opening weekend, seven artists will give a lecture on their work.
An insigh into their concept is given by
  • Julika Rudelius
    Thursday, 17.9.15, 16:30
    Kunstverein Ludwigshafen
  • Thomas Hirschhorn
    Thursday, 17.9.15, 17:30
    Kunstverein Ludwigshafen
  • Rico Scagliola & Michael Meier
    Friday, 18.9.15, 16:30
    Heidelberger Kunstverein
  • George Legrady
    Friday, 18.9.15, 17:30
    Heidelberger Kunstverein
  • Jules Spinatsch
    Saturday, 19.9.15, 13:30
  • Ilit Azoulay
    Saturday, 19.9.15, 14:30
  • Paolo Woods & Gabriele Galimberti
    Sunday, 19.9.15, 15:30

More information about the the artists and upcoming events are to be found soon on our website.

The setup of the exhibition has begun!
Preparations in the participating institutions are in full swing
The Kunstverein Ludwigshafen am Rhein e.V. starts with a gigantic exhibition architecture which will grow to a wall surface of 600sqm. (see photo)

Our Homepages´section "artists" is now online!
Images and additional information about the participation artists of [7P] - [7] Places [7] Precarious Fields
The section about the 50 international artists from 19 countries can be found here.

[7P] - [7] Places [7] Precarious Fields // Video-Documentation
Episode 1: Urs Stahel - Curator
In cooperation with we produce a video-documentation of the exhibition project [7] Places [7] Precarious Fields.

In the first part, we introduce our curator. Urs Stahel talks about the challenge of equipping 4.000 sq. of exhibition space. In addition, he explains the importance of photo-exhibitions in a time in which photography is omnipresent.

The video is to be found here.

The Fotofestival announces the participating artists!
50 international photographers and artists from 19 nations will present artistic positions on the exhibition [7P] - [7] Places [7] Precarious Fields.
On a total exhibition area of 4,000 square metres Urs Stahel, curator of this year's Fotofestival, is showing artistic works by renowned and mostly unknown photographers and artists who confront controversial and difficult topics of social and political relations in today's world.

You will find the detailed list of artists in our latest Newsletter.

Photo: © Suzanne Opton, Soldier: Williams - 396 Days in Iraq, from the series Soldier, 2004/2005, C-Print, 70 x 100 cm, courtesy Suzanne Opton

Register now for the 2015 Portfolio Review!
As a part of the Opening Weekend of the 6th Fotofestival Mannheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg we present the Portfolio Review on September the 19th.
The Portfolio Review 2015 focuses on the topic „New Realities in documentary Photography". It is aimed at students of photography, art and design as well as at artists and photographers. The event will take place at the C-HUB Creative Economy Centre in Mannheim´s Jungbusch district. Subsequently, the Reviewers will choose their personal favourites, which will be shown as a standalone exhibition throughout the Festival´s duration at the Heidelberger FORUM für Kunst.

We look forward to your online application by 15 August!
For further information please visit our Portfolio Review section.

Photo: © Toni Montana Studios

Jules Spinatsch carries out this year's in-situ project
In keeping with the festival's curatorial concept, the Swiss artist photographs seven locations in Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and Heidelberg.
The in-situ project has firmly established itself in Fotofestival Mannheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg's profile as a characteristic component. For this project, internationally active artists contribute photographic works in reaction to local realities in the three participating cities. For the 6th edition of the Fotofestival we are pleased to have engaged Jules Spinatsch to carry out the in-situ project. In parallel with the curatorial concept, the Swiss-origin artist creates [7] new works, one for each of the [7] precarious fields.

For further information please check out our []filed newsletter[/LK].

Photo: © Jules Spinatsch. Detail from Tanzboden 1, Panorama of 714 Single Images in chronological order recorded 5. May 19:30 – 6. May 11:00. Dancefloor 1, Time Warp Festival, Mannheim 2015

"Bonus Tracks" is now online
Interesting videos and additional information about the participating artists.
There are still 4 months left until the Fotofestival starts. We will regulary release videos about the artists to shorten your waiting time and to provide you an additional insight into their work. These can be found here.

The topic for the Festival's upcoming 2015 edition has been decided!
[7] Places [7] Precarious Fields
For the 6th edition of Fotofestival Mannheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg the renowned Swiss curator Urs Stahel has drawn up an exciting exhibition concept!
From 18 September until 15 November 2015, under the title [7] Places [7] Precarious Fields, our society's current crises will be discussed! The exhibitions at the participating institutions will deal with uprooting, delocalization, alienation, with high-tech production and social control, with real and virtual migration, with aggrandized self-images, highly-strung psyches, rapacity, with narcissism and the loss of self-control, and finally with violence, surveillance and punishment. They will reflect these precarious fields on the basis of chiefly contemporary photographic and video works. In a blend of documentary and artistic works, of murals, projections, installations, showcase works, films and videos, a discursive climate that is also optically visible is to be generated, a climate that meets the requirements for dealing with these themes.

Participants will include: Ai Weiwei (China), Ilit Azoulay (Israel), Gaëlle Boucand (France), Adam Broomberg (South Africa) / Oliver Chanarin (United Kingdom), Edmund Clarke (United Kingdom), Sylvain Couzinet-Jacques (France), Henrik Spohler (Germany), Mishka Henner (Belgium), Melanie Gilligan (Canada), Trevor Paglen (USA), Maya Rochat (Switzerland), Rico Scagliola / Michael Meier (Switzerland), Dayanita Singh (India), Jules Spinatsch (Switzerland) and Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Greece).

URS STAHEL Curator 6th Fotofestival 2015
Urs Stahel is going to curate the 6th Fotofestival edition in autumn 2015
Urs Stahel is the founding director of Fotomuseum Winterthur, which, in the 20 years under his leadership, has evolved into one of the most important photography institutions. The internationally active photography specialist is additionally the co-founder of Kunsthalle Zurich, visiting professor at the University of Zurich, and curator at MAST, the new centre of industrial culture in Bologna. He is the curator and author of numerous exhibitions and publications.

For the upcoming Fotofestival Urs Stahel will develop an overriding exhibition concept that will give rise to discussions from various perspectives at the participating institutions.



Free admission for students during the final Festival week

Please spread the word!

More News