The Open Call for the exhibition as part of the festival’s program and the 8. Merck-Preis ended on 29 November, 2019. Thank you to all applicants!
On Darmstadt Photography Days & The Merck-Preis
The Darmstadt Photography Days (DTdF) were born out of a photographers’ initiative in 2004 and will be organized by the Art Forum of the Technische Universität Darmstadt from 2019 onwards. The international festival now counts among Germany’s most important photographic events. It sets relevant topics and promotes interdisciplinary discourse in photography. For ten days, numerous activities shed light on one thematic focus from different perspectives: Photography exhibitions, expert symposia and debates lend a unique fullness to the examination of photography. A comprehensive catalogue is published to accompany the festival.
The Merck-Preis, worth 10,000 Euro, is a central element of the festival. The handing over of the Merck-Preis to kick off the opening evening is one of the festival’s highlights. The competition’s ten finalists are presented at the Designhaus on the Mathildenhöhe, and one work is chosen for the Merck-Preis from this selection. The new feature is that, for the first time, ten finalists from the competition will be put on show together in a curated exhibition at the Designhaus on the Mathildenhöhe. As was previously the case, one work only will be selected to the Merck-Preis (10,000 Euro). The announcement and prizegiving will be performed at the festival opening at the Designhaus on 24 April at 6 p.m.
- Alexandra Lechner (photographer/DTdF co-founder/RAY curator)
- Ute Noll (On Photography, image editorial at DU)
- Marcel Rauschkolb (Chairman DTdF)
- Julia Reichelt (Director of the Kunstforum at the TU Darmstadt)
- Prof. Dr. Kris Scholz (University of Darmstadt)
- Gregor Schuster (photographer/DTdF co-founder)
The topic for 2020:
Bizarre Escapes – Humour in Photography
Humour and photography share more common aspects than is superficially apparent.
Both of them probe the status quo, exaggerate events and process experiences from a specifically selected viewpoint. With pointed precision, photography employs odd perspectives in order to visualize, in concentrated moments or by means of unconventional staging, the world in which we live. Only through captivated contemplation can we gain new insights. Humour charmingly takes a look at the everyday, sketching its opposite with a slightly displaced gaze, playing with superficial associations – and causing things below the surface to flare up. Humour or satire in the image are able to visualize comical situations, surprising turns and unexpected contradictions.
The distanced or displaced mode of contemplation conveys new perspectives to us – and ideally, societal action can be derived from the unexpected findings. At all events, these findings make the gravity of life more bearable and query our attitudes, values and prejudices. We look for images and series that seriously and/or comically reveal to us new viewpoints and positions.