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.
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.
Two shooting exercises are organized during the week (no wet darkroom facilities are available but film can be developed.) The assignments are intended to explore aspects of the participants’ photographic process by challenging them with new possibilities.
The Retreat also offers optional activities designed to promote engagement with the setting and enhance concentration and introspection. These include mild meditation sessions (guided and unguided) and nature walks on local trails to explore the beauty and history of the region.
WHO ARE THE 2015 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 – 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 11, 2014 at 5pm and concludes on the morning of Saturday, July 18, 2015. 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 6 – 11, 2015.
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. APPLICATIONS ARE DUE NO LATER THAN DECEMBER 1, 2014 before 11:59 pm. The total fee is US $2,900 (approximately 2,300 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 December 15, 2014. A non-refundable deposit of US $900.00 must accompany confirmation to attend by December 22, 2014. The remaining balance of US $2,000 is due by March 20, 2015. Single rooms are available to upon request, for a supplemental fee of US $200 for the week on a first come, first served basis.
WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION FOR CREATING THIS NEW TYPE OF GATHERING?
‘A wonderful place to get inspired and explore new directions – serenity in the French countryside with good food & du vin… très sympa!’ - 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. As an educator, this is the ideal environment.’ - Lyle Rexer
WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF RETREAT?
A retreat is a refuge, a safe place, a sanctuary, a hideaway, an abode, an hermitage, a haven, a place of rest, shelter and protection. A retreat is also a departure, a different approach, an adventure, a leave-taking, the beginning of a journey, a change from the usual or expected path, a definite time spent away from one’s normal life for the purpose of reflecting and reconnecting at a higher level.
WILL THE LIST OF PARTICIPANTS BE PUBLISHED?
The list of participants will be published in early April, 2015 unless you specifically ask for your name to be withheld.
CAN I DOWNLOAD A PDF?
Yes, right here, this is it: PDF ofTHE PHOTOGRAPHY MASTER RETREAT-JULY 11-18-2015