LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph Announces 2009 Featured Photographers Martin Parr, Gilles Peress, Sylvia Plachy

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Annual event celebrates photography with gallery shows, outdoor exhibits, nightly projections, and on-stage interviews in Charlottesville, VA June 11, 12, 13

LOOK3 was born out of the need to maintain community amongst photographers and I'm amazed at what the Festival has become

For the third consecutive sold-out year, the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph will welcome over a thousand photographers and enthusiasts for 3 days of exhibitions, outdoor projections, workshops, interviews with legendary photographers and special events that will transform downtown Charlottesville, Virginia into a "living image." This year's festival will take place June 11 - 13, 2009.

LOOK3 is thrilled to feature three seminal photographers in 2009: Martin Parr, Gilles Peress, and Sylvia Plachy.

Each evening of the Festival, as part of LOOK3's "INsight Conversations" series in the historic Paramount Theater, one of these three artists will share images and stories from their careers behind the camera. In addition to a stunning visual presentation of the artist's work, the audience is treated to a rare opportunity to hear a photographic legend speak candidly about influences, process, and inspirations. Each will also mount a solo exhibition in a local gallery.

The LOOK3 Festival is an outgrowth of the "Hotshots" parties that National Geographic Photographer and Editor-at-Large, Michael "Nick" Nichols hosted in his backyard for the last twenty years. The intimate, informal, and communal spirit of those gatherings continues today at the Festival of the Photograph. The LOOK3 name signifies "3 days of peace, love, and photography" featuring 3 renowned photographers.

"LOOK3 was born out of the need to maintain community amongst photographers and I'm amazed at what the Festival has become," says Nichols. "I love that we now get to share that community with the public which only expands the support system. People leave Charlottesville feeling inspired, like they have a big family, and nothing makes me happier."

Nichols is Co-Executive Director of the LOOK3 Festival, along with Jessica Nagle, Co-Founder of SNL Financial of Charlottesville. The Festival's Board of Advisors includes: Melissa Harris, Editor-in-Chief of Aperture Magazine, Scott Thode, Director of Photography at Fortune Magazine, and David Griffin, Director of Photography at National Geographic Magazine.

For more information about the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, to purchase Festival passes, or to register for the LOOK3 Workshops, visit the Festival web site at http://www.look3.org.

For press images, please use the following link and password for images and download guidelines.
password : look32009

A full schedule of events and artists will be announced in March.

Lisa Draine at 434.977.3687 or lisa@look3.org

Artists Biographies:
Martin Parr is arguably Britain's most important contemporary photographer, with a unique perspective and unmistakable style, and a critical and popular following in the worlds of art, fashion and journalism. 
Inspired by his grandfather, Parr studied photography from 1970 to 1973, taking on various teaching assignments through the early 1990s. Switching to color in the early 1980s, he documented the English working class during the era of Thatcher, earning an international reputation for his innovative imagery. "I suppose I started to make a critique of society as it is, rather than a celebration of what it used to be." For Parr, the moral atrophy and preposterousness of our daily lives means we can only find salvation through adopting a certain sense of humor. As an insightful commentator on commercial culture and social life, he has revitalized and repositioned contemporary documentary photography. A member of Magnum since 1994, Parr has published over twenty books and been widely exhibited around the globe, including MOMA NY and Tokyo, the Tate Modern, Stedelijk Museum, and the Bibliotheque Nationale.

"He is a cunning photographer, sidling his way into situations where he shouldn't always be, looking as ordinary as the people he photographs. " - Val Williams, Director of the University of the Arts London Research Centre for Photography and the Archive

Gilles Perress is an internationally renowned photographer. Having studied political science and philosophy in Paris, he began working with photography in 1970. He has documented events in Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Palestine, Iran, Bosnia, Rwanda, 9-11, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Peress often represents the complexity of conflict in his acclaimed books by using minimal text, juxtaposing mundane detail with unfolding catastrophe. For him, there is never a clear distinction between war and peace. "War is never total war; in the same way, peace is never total peace." Currently Professor of Human Rights and Photography at Bard College, NY, and Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley, Peress continues to develop his ongoing project titled "Hate Thy Brother," a cycle of documentary narratives that looks at intolerance and its consequences. A member of Magnum since 1972, his work is exhibited and collected internationally by the MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, and PS1; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Corcoran Gallery; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; The Centre Georges Pompidou Musee D'Art Moderne; and the Folkwang and Sprengel Museum. Awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship, multiple NEA grants, the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography, multiple ICP Infinity Awards and the Pollock-Krasner grant. His books include Haines (2004); A Village Destroyed (2002); The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar (1998); The Silence: Rwanda (1995); Farewell to Bosnia (1994); and Telex Iran (1984, 1997 reprint).

"Is a picture worth a thousand words? It depends on the picture. These photographs are so overwhelming that words, any words, seem trite." - Raul Nino, poet

Sylvia Plachy immigrated to the United States from Hungary with her parents in 1958, and started photographing in 1964. Her evocative photography is acclaimed as diverse, surprising, and humorous, transforming the elusive into the poetic. Although perhaps best known for pictures in the Village Voice, her work has appeared in over 50 major publications. In the forward to her book Signs and Relics (The Monacelli Press, 1999), filmmaker Wim Wenders writes, "It showed me that photographs can do all sorts of things that I never thought of."

Other books include Unguided Tour (Aperture, 1990), for which she won an ICP Infinity Award, Self Portrait with Cows Going Home (Aperture, 2004), which won a Golden Light Award, and Red Light (Thunder's Mouth Press, 1996), a groundbreaking work on the sex industry. Andre Kertesz, her mentor and compatriot said of her work, "I have never seen the moment sensed and caught on film with more intimacy and humanity." Sylvia Plachy has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a CAPS Grant. She has exhibited internationally and her work is in multiple collections including MOMA NY and SF, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the Bibliotheque Nationale. Plachy is the mother of actor Adrien Brody.

"She makes me laugh and she breaks my heart. She is moral. She is everything a photographer should be." - Richard Avedon, photographer


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