Photography Chair Curating Korean Photo Festival

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Friday, May 13th, 2016

JonjupOSTEREric Weeks, Pennsylvania College of Art & Design Chair of Photography, has traveled to Korea to open the 9th Annual Jeonju International Photography Festival (http://www.jpf.co.kr/), Jeonju, South Korea, of which he is the Festival Curator and Executive Director.

The title of the exhibition is FACT/FICTION, which according to Weeks, highlights the descriptive abilities of the photographic medium to create stories that are based upon fact, but also cleverly spin tales of fiction. The exhibit runs May 14-22, 2016

According to Weeks, this exhibition is an international gathering of artists who are engaged in presenting photographic facts while also offering their work up to decoding by the viewer.  All of the work presented shares a common attribute: to tell intricate, non-linear, open-ended stories. The photographs presented investigate the mysteries of reality and the human condition, and have a kindred relationship to the rich history of literature.

Weeks states, “When looking at these photographs the viewer is given the opportunity to imagine narratives that are more elaborate than the reality recorded. That an image is a subjective document, especially in the digital age, is no longer debatable, but the artists presented in this exhibition all speak to the complex oscillation between photograph perceived as fact and photograph read as fiction. This act of viewership involves a suspension of disbelief, first noted by Aristotle, where a viewer understands intellectually, or often subconsciously, that they are viewing fiction but suspend their disbelief and come to a catharsis despite of that knowledge.”

Artists selected to exhibit at the festival are:

Weeks has been a professor of Photography and Fine Art at Pennsylvania College of Art & Design since 2010. He earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University School of Arts and his Bachelor’s from School of Visual Arts.

Weeks said, “My position as the Exhibition Director of the 9th Annual Jeonju International Photography Festival positively affects the PCA&D community because as a representative of the institution it brings PCA&D name recognition to the international community.  By traveling abroad to curate this exhibition and establish international partnerships, both my position as Chair of the Photography Department at PCA&D and the College gain a global presence. It also brings a global perspective to our students at a time when photography is ubiquitous.”

Weeks was instrumental in creating a photography exchange, http://kiu-pcad.tumblr.com/ between students at PCA&D in Lancaster PA, and Kyungil University (KIU) in Gyeongsan, South Korea. Twice a semester, students at KIU and PCA&D are asked an open-ended question that students at both institutions then answer through photographs. The goal of the exchange is for the photography students from the two cultures to learn about each other through photography, while also gaining an understanding of the communicative power of the medium. In addition, in 2015, Weeks was a visiting artist at KIU, where he worked with photography students, lecturing and reviewing portfolios.