Sophie Boshouwers ist Ausstellungsmanagerin und Kuratorin bei der World Press Photo Foundation. Uns erklärt sie, wie sie bei Planung und Aufbau vorgeht – und wie welches Bild seinen Platz im Oldenburger Schloss fand.
Curating the World Press Photo exhibition to me is always a combining stories and images that go well together, aesthetics, the available space and a logical combination of images in one room or sequence.
For this particular space in Schloss Oldenburg I started of looking at where the entrances are, what the sizes of the rooms are and the amount of rooms. I group images together, and then move on with scaling down.
Since there were 4 rooms, of different sizes, and I know that refugee section is quite large (sadly enough) I designated the biggest room to the refugee images.
Then there were 3 rooms left, and I designated the smallest one to sports, since it is quite a small selection of images. I wanted to place sports right next to the second biggest room, where I decided to hang nature and the effect of man on nature. They are overall the somewhat ‘lighter’ subjects, at least, less gruesome for the eye.
I chose to put the long term projects together in the one room that was left. Nancy Borowicks long term project, mostly on love, but built on the loss of both her parents to cancer, can, being a story on loss, be a beautiful combination with Sarah Naomi Lewkovicz miracle story on the almost synchronized births of two babies by a female couple. Here the contrast is a logical one, because both stories represent universal emotions that come with life and death.
Also, two stories on the same event go well together. The earthquake in Nepal was covered by Roberto Schmidt and by Daniel Berehulak. Roberto Schmidt covered the earthquake as he was climbing the Mount Everest, and actually decided to shoot the avalanche that was coming towards him, as opposed to running for cover.
A great story on decisions that are made on the spot by photographers. (The photographer of the winning photo of the Year 2017, Burhan Ozbilici, covering the shooting of a Russian ambassador is another example where a photographer chose to deal with a life-threatening situation).
Daniel Berehulak covered the devastations afterwards in Nepal. Aid came very late till not at all to many people living in remote villages, and I decided to place images of remote and almost forgotten places close to his, such as Adriane Ohanesians ‚The forgotten mountains of Sudan’ and Niclas Hammerstroms ‚Gang-related violence’.
As a curator, , and keep in mind the stories behind it. The stories give so much context and can make decision-making very different. Sometimes a connection is not seen at first glance, but after knowing the context, it will be clear. Also, I always like to give a lot of attention to stories that are different and really make people think. One of my favourite stories is the one by Christian Bobst, called the ‚Gris gris-wrestlers of Senegal’, in which he depicts anything but a cliche on the African continent, a sports event that moves the whole nation l and gives hope to many youngsters of Senegal.
Of course I would love to highlight all images, that is my job and love doing that, a guided tour is therefore always a great idea. In this way, I can immediately see people’s responses to the images, and see the impact we can have with the World Press Photo exhibition.
Text: Sophie Boshouwers
Foto: Instagrammers Napoli: https://www.instagram.com/igersnapoli/