The Family of No Man – Open Call to female and inter-gender artists
Rencontres d’Arles 2018, Arles, France Deadline: 03 June 2018
The Family of No Man will be one of the main curatorial events at Arles Cosmos 2018. It will consist of an open call to female and inter-gender artists working in the medium of photography. The call will result to a series of outdoor & indoor installations and activities that will take place during the six days of the fair. The aim of this radical curatorial proposition is to revisit Edward Steichen’s original Family of Man exhibition (1955), which, in its time, was described “as one of the most ambitious undertakings in an art museum”. The Family of No Man will seek to replace the visual register of white male dominance inherent in the original project with an inclusive visual platform of how the world is seen today through non-male eyes.
All participants are guaranteed one image of the curators choice that will be included in the exhibition.
Historical context and referents
The Family of Man referenced in this proposal is a landmark curatorial and editorial project in the history of photography. The ambitious exhibition, which opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) in 1955, brought together 503 pictures by 273 photographers from 68 countries. Its ambition was to provide a comprehensive exploration of photography’s capacity to record human relations, showcasing the universality of human experience and to serve as a forthright declaration of human solidarity in the decade following World War II. The featured material was selected and edited by Edward Steichen and his assistant Wayne Miller over 2,000,000 photographs, with the conviction that photography could capture “the gamut of life from birth to death”. The exhibition took the form of a photo-essay that celebrated all aspects of human experience. It toured the world for eight years attracting more than nine million visitors. Its final complete version was permanently installed in Clervaux Castle (Luxemburg) in 1994. Likewise, the visual essay book that accompanied it –MoMA’s most popular publication ever with more than 300,000 copies sold– turned into a foundational volume in the culture of photography, familiar to pretty much any photographer working in the latter half of the 20th century. But it also had had tremendous popular appeal. Its layout brought together 503 images by 273 photographers. Edited in a similar way by Steichen, as a symphony of voices, it showed people around the world working, playing, fighting and loving. The images of the greatest exponents of humanist photography of the time were accompanied by literary quotes, orchestrating a grand visual and emotional vision of humanity. This project seeks to expand on the book and its narratives.
How to enter
The call is addressed to non-male photographers.
TechnologyImages must relate to one ore more of the following categories
Works used for the exhibition will be judged for their importance to the categories outlined by the curatorial team. Participants are encouraged to send uncensored and open images. There is no restriction to subject matter or image type so long as they fit the category.
The submission fee for Family of No Man guarantees at least one image by each person submitting will be used within the public exhibition.
The curators will be choosing which images to include.
Winners will therefore receive a guaranteed place in the exhibition with one or more images and their names will be included in the exhibition. Cosmos is an affiliate photobook platform working with Les Recontres d’Arles. The platform is internationally regarded within the main program and focuses on external project co-ordination. Up to 10,000 visitors will see the see the Family of No Men exhibition in the time frame it commences.
Brad FEUERHELM (b. 1977, America) is a photography collector, artist, curator, dealer, and writer on photography. He has published several books on his work and has written for different magazines both in print and on-line. He is the Managing Editor of American Suburb X.
Natasha CHRISTIA (b. 1976, Greece) is an independent writer, curator and educator based in Barcelona. She is also a collection consultant and a dealer specialized in fine art photography and photobooks.