Iranian photographers top at Munich contest on coronavirus cultural shutdown

October 25, 2020 - 18:32

TEHRAN – A collection of 12 photos by Iranian photographers Ali Haddadi and Zohreh Salimi has won first prize at a competition on the cultural shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contest named “Cultural Shutdown: Social Distancing & Empty Spaces” was organized by Pasinger Fabrik, a former factory in Munich, Bavaria, Germany, which is used as a cultural center and event venue nowadays.

An exhibition displaying a selection of submissions to the competition opened at the center on October 23 and will run until November 29.

Thomas Linsmayer and Stefan-Maria Mittendorf are the curators of the exhibition.

Second prize went to Jana Madzigon from Austria, and Ulrich Opitz from Germany won third prize at the contest, which also had participants from Italy, England, Ukraine, the U.S., Egypt and several other countries.

The organizers have said that Cultural Shutdown: Social Distancing & Empty Spaces has been organized to record the image of the pandemic in contemporary art.

In a statement for the exhibition, the organizers said, “The crisis led to depopulated places, cities and spaces worldwide. An unprecedented void in many centers of civilization on earth manifested itself as an evident consequence of a disused society. A whole socio-cultural fabric broke apart when cultural life was switched off on March 14. Galleries, museums, cinemas, cultural centers and theaters were closed. The audience’s resonance chambers were locked and the art audience was deprived of the shared euphoria. The cultural shutdown caught all artists because they are not systemically relevant.”

Consequently, in its call, Pasinger Fabrik invited artists who recorded their experiences of inside and outside life as well as personal inspirations and visions of the crisis in graphic representations.

Photo: A photo from a collection by Iranian photographers Ali Haddadi and Zohreh Salimi won first prize at Pasinger Fabrik’s competition “Cultural Shutdown: Social Distancing & Empty Spaces”.   

MMS/YAW

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