Photographic Encounters

With the biennial format Photographic Encounters Fotomuseum Winterthur and Christoph Merian Verlag accompany a photographer/artist in the realisation of an exhibition and a publication.

For the second edition some 40 photographers were nominated in June 2023 by ten curators, critics, experts and artists and invited to submit a dossier and an outline proposal for a photographic project. The Photographic Encounters format is intended to support photographers from Switzerland or domiciled in Switzerland and enable them to present a long-term photographic project. The 2023 jury – which consists of Iris Becher, Head of Editing and Production at Christoph Merian Verlag, Yining He, author, researcher and curator, and Nadine Wietlisbach, director of Fotomuseum Winterthur – have selected a photographer: Ester Vonplon (b. 1989). She will work closely with the museum and the publisher over a period of around two years to realise an exhibition and publication. The publication is intended to offer new ways of looking at her work.

The key criteria for the Photographic Encounters format are the project’s artistic and conceptual approach, its contemporary relevance and the quality of the photographic imagery. The title Photographic Encounters draws on the ideas of theorist Ariella Azoulay, who describes photography as a practice composed of multiple encounters. These take place not only between the photographer and their subject(s) but also, further down the line, between the viewer and the photograph. The repeated process of looking at a picture and discussing it from different angles also opens up its scope of influence. Accordingly, events that took place at one time in front of the camera are carried on through the act of reception and recontextualisation.

Nominated Photographers 2024–2025

Yumna Al-Arashi, Camille Aleña, Florian Amoser, Deneth Piumakshi Veda Arachchige, Florian Bachmann, Dorothée Baumann, Mathieu Bernard-Reymond, Nathalie Bissig, Aladin Borioli, Cortis & Sonderegger, Giulia Essyad, Tomasz Fall, Taje Mahalia Giotto, Sabine Hess, Anya Hilfiker, Ana Hofmann, Johanna Hullár, Lauren Huret & Maria Guta, Tamara Janes, Vincent Jendly, Marvin Jumo, Judith Kakon, Monika Emmanuelle Kazi, Roman Selim Khereddine, Jason Klimatsas, Ange-Frédéric Koffi, Clément Lambelet, Jiří Makovec, Lisa Mazenauer, Yann Mingard, Anne Morgenstern, Eddy Mottaz, Thi My Lien Nguyen, Elisabeth Real, Maya Rochat, Bennett Smith, Florian Spring, Batia Suter, Anouk Tschanz, Salvatore Vitale, Ester Vonplon, Jessica Wolfelsperger

The Photographic Encounters format was initiated by the Christoph Merian Foundation, enabled by the Geissmann Scholarship for Photography.

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