FotoFest Announces 2024 Biennial Curatorial Theme and Participating Artists

by Glasstire December 3, 2023

Houston-based contemporary arts organization FotoFest has announced that its 2024 Biennial will be titled Critical Geography

An installation image of a multimedia work by Ethel Lilienfeld.

Ethel Lilienfeld, installation view of “INVISIBLE FILTER,” 2022. Production Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains. Four-channel video installation. Courtesy of the artist and Le Fresnoy.

The organization, which, according to a press release, focuses on “advancing photography and visual culture through the presentation of exhibitions, public programs, publications, and curricula,” will once again host the Biennial’s central exhibition at Sawyer Yards. Other affiliated events will be scattered across the city. The Biennial will run from March 9 through April 21, 2024, and will “[reexamine] traditional Western and historical understandings of geography while investigating shifting and emergent spatial realms.” The exhibition will be organized by FotoFest Executive Director Steven Evans.

Mr. Evans, who formerly served as Director of the Linda Pace Foundation in San Antonio and Managing Director of Dia.Beacon in Beacon, NY, has been with FotoFest since 2014. During that time he has organized and co-curated many exhibitions, including the 2016, 2018, and 2022 FotoFest Biennials. Of the upcoming iteration, Mr. Evans spoke of a “hope… that the 2024 Biennial, featuring both existing and newly commissioned works from local and international artists, will allow viewers to engage in important dialogues around the social dimensions of space and our shared planet.” 

To that end, the press release shares that Critical Geography will present “a range of unorthodox strategies employed to construct new narratives around place and community while imagining alternative social organizations of space.” An incomplete list of participating artists released by FotoFest includes Mónica Alcázar-Duarte, Syahrul Anuar, Adrian Burrell, Hyun-taek Cho, Binh Danh, Colby Deal, Ana Teresa Fernández, Caleb Fung, Shona Illingworth, Libuše Jarcovjáková, Ethel Lilienfeld, Vlad Krasnoshckok, Mark Menjívar with students of Jack Yates High School, Zarina Muhammad, Zhihang Ou, Wai Hang Sui, Rose Smith, Sao Sreymao, Stephanie Syjuco, and Brad Temkin.

Alongside the main exhibition, FotoFest will present Ten by Ten: Ten Portfolios from the Meeting Place 2021-22, which will feature work by artists who participated in the FotoFest portfolio review sessions in those years. Artists included in that exhibit are Elizabeth Chiles, Rebecca Finley, Rashed Haq, Hyoyeon Kim, Marina Planas, Júlia Pontés, Ricahrd Sharum, Marni Shindelman, Lynne Silverman, and Raymond Thompson Jr. The artists were nominated by individuals referred to in the press release as “industry leaders.” The exhibit will be curated by Max Fields, Curator and Director of Publishing at FotoFest.

To keep tabs on the biennial and other FotoFest events, check their website

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