WHAT IS THE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER RETREAT?
The Photography Master Retreat is a unique one-week retreat for 14 professional and passionate photographers/artists who desire a break to reconsider and reposition their work – with the help of distinguished professionals who provide individual mentoring as well as lead group master discussions.
WHO IS IT DESIGNED FOR?
The weeklong session is designed for passionate photographers who have experienced critique classes and are confident technically but who desire professional support for taking new directions. The Retreat provides this in a stimulating communal setting, ideal for moving forward intellectually and creatively. Participants in the Retreat will be invited to play an active role in the exchanges led by the mentors.The Retreat is not limited by an ideology or a predetermined aesthetic approach. It engages each participant’s work on its own terms and seeks the best ways to improve and enrich the photographic encounter.
IS IT DESIGNED FOR ME?
Whether you are a professional or thinking of becoming professional, whether you are a passionate and informed photographer, whether you are a fine artist or a documentarian, the important element is that you be committed to your existing personal and creative work as well as be committed to take it to the next level.
It is designed for 14 professional, emerging professional and serious advanced aspiring professional photographers.
HOW WILL IT UNFOLD?
Less a shooting trip than an opportunity to pause and reflect, the Retreat emphasizes intensive looking and discussion. Throughout the Retreat, the mentors develop with each participant an individual Empowerment Plan based on the goal of heightening the work. Portfolio reviews, supportive critique, discussions, shooting exercises and opportunities for introspection are integral parts of the program. They will allow participants to re-evaluate their aesthetic and their trajectory as an artist.
The mentoring sessions focus on evaluating the participants’ work in its uniqueness as well as in regard to other key photographers and movements in the art world at large. The sessions provide an opportunity to frame work in new words and to more effectively connect the photographer with the work. These interactions yield a new perspective on existing work and a stimulus to future projects.
The Retreat also offers optional activities designed to promote engagement with the setting. These include nature walks on local trails to explore the beauty and history of the region.
WHO ARE THE 2017 MENTORS?
ELISABETH BIONDI Visuals Editor, The New Yorker, 1996-2011 and Independent Curator, Writer and Teacher, New York
KATHARINA BOSSE Artist, Professor of Photography, Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, Germany
MARTINE FOUGERON Photographer and Artist, Faculty at ICP, New York
LYLE REXER Critic, Curator and Faculty at School of Visual Arts, New York
WHERE IS THE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER RETREAT?
The Photography Master Retreat is held in the house of Martine Fougeron, La Bastide d’Esparon in the hamlet of Esparon – a serene haven with breathtaking views, located near Arles, Avignon, and Montpellier in the south of France. Local cuisine and special wines are provided for the entire week.
WHEN WILL IT BE OFFERED?
The Photography Master Retreat is a 7-day, summer session. It begins on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 4 pm and concludes on the morning of Saturday, July 15, 2017. These dates have been chosen so that participants may attend the nearby international photography festival Les Rencontres d’Arles if they wish, the week before, July 3 – 8, 2017. Participants can view the official website of Arles to visit exhibitions or attend portfolio reviews: Les Rencontres d’Arles.
WHAT IS THE APPLICATION PROCESS AND FEE?
The Photography Master Retreat is a 7-day event. Participation is by application only and at the decision of the selection committee. FINAL APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN MARCH 1, 2017 before 11:59 pm.
The total fee is US $3,200 (approximately 3,000 euros), which includes lodging and meals. Air fare and transportation are NOT included.
The selection committee will review all applications and contact the selected applicants by March 7, 2017. A non-refundable deposit of US $1.200,00 must accompany confirmation to attend by January 20, 2017. The remaining balance of US $2.000,00 is due by March 15, 2017. Single rooms are available to upon request, for a supplemental fee of US $400,00 for the week on a first come, first served basis.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR CREATING THIS NEW TYPE OF GATHERING?
'I look forward to spend a week devoted to photography--exploring with students their individual creative potential in the serenity of the French Countryside with good food in a congenial environment. ' -Elisabeth Biondi
‘I love the idea of a time for reflection and thinking about photography. Seeing each participant’s body of work not just once for a review, but being able to keep looking at the work and the person behind it, exploring together the direction it might take. Focus and Beauty, like the light in the south of France, are precious ingredients in a creative life. The communal experience of a dedicated group of mentors and photographers exchanging ideas is rare outside of art schools, yet I think it is essential for growing your work at any stage of the career.’ – Katharina Bosse
‘I felt the need to create a new kind of gathering where photographers could safely and productively retire for a week, with time on their side. Take a step back and hopefully one giant leap forward so as to reconnect with their work and process in a new light. I dreamt of creating this communal atmosphere where fellow artists could be ‘mentored’ by key professionals and also enrich each other. I wanted to share my family house La Bastide d’Esparon, which has been my creative refuge for the past 40 years. It seemed like the perfect haven for this photographic retreat.’ - Martine Fougeron
‘This is an age of social media and shared images, but rarely do photographers or artists actually get to work together, face to face, to stimulate new ideas and challenge each other creatively. For an educator, this is the ideal environment.’- Lyle Rexer