Festival 2017

The f² festival presents contemporary positions and tendencies in photography and will take place for the first time in Dortmund from June 22 until July 16, 2017. The platform of this comprehensive, curated concept consists of a concentrated talk program as well as exhibitions that take place in different locations in Dortmund.


The 2017 exhibitions will deal with the topic of „limits“. What are limits? Do we need limits? The philosopher Konrad Paul Liessmann said: „One could literally translate the word definition with limitation. Every time we define a word, we limit its content. We have to do this in order to communicate as human beings, on the one hand, and on the other to make the world comprehensible. Mankind cannot help but draw lines and fix limits everywhere.“ Is there such a thing as good and bad limits? Limits create dividing lines that help us to distinguish between things. They keep us moving, motivate us, and provide points of orientation. The sky is the limit. At the same time, limits divide worlds – spatially and temporally, socially and culturally. They provide points of contact and common ground, zones of transition and zones of surmounting that which divides. They give us a chance for transformation and change. There is a multitude of limits: geographic and political borders, custom borders, economic limitations, physical limitations, social and personal boundaries, legal boundaries of property, cultural barriers. Our conscience also provides ethical boundaries for our actions.


Contemporary positions will be shown, including diverse approaches to photography such as photojournalism, staged photography, experimental photography, documentary photography, street photography, still life and more.


The organizer and coordinator of the festival is the Depot e.V. in cooperation with FREELENS e.V. (Professional Association of Photographers). The program of the festival is realized with a network of partnersf (exhibition places, universities) and sponsors.



The Limits to Growth

In 1972, the Club of Rome published the study 'The Limits to Growth'. It became an epitome of a rampant global economy, the exploitation of nature, the destruction of the eco system and the increasing social inequality. The scenarios indicated in the study have been fervently discussed ever since. Then as now, questions of limited resources and sustainable and equitable life styles are pressing issues. The exhibition presents photographic positions, rising problems and innovative ideas and solution models.



Mandy Barker, Manuel Bauer, Stéphanie Buret, Dornith Doherty, Barbara Dombrowski, Micha Ende, Stefan Enders, Satoshi Fujiwara, André Giesemann, Peter Ginter, Alessandro Grassani, Frauke Huber, Karina Juárez, David Klammer, Kai Löffelbein, Gerd Ludwig, Uwe H. Martin, Simon Norfolk, Jorge Panchoaga,  Pablo Piovano, Ewa Priester, Johannes Puch, Daniel Schulz, Claudius Schulze, Vlad Sokhin, Vladimir Wegener, Mario Wezel



Peter Bitzer, Lars Boering, Anja Bohnhof, Lois Lammerhuber, Kristin Dittrich, Margot Klingsporn, Peter Liedtke, Peter Lindhorst, Martina Mettner, Rolf Nobel, Ute Noll

© f.l.t.r.: Barbara Dombrowski, Stéphanie Buret, Uwe H. Martin

Everyday Is Like Sunday

The Künstlerhaus Dortmund shows an exhibition titled "Everyday Is Like Sunday" with works of seven photographers. The lyrics of Morissey show that it is not
about enjoyable weekdays, but rather about holiday's threat, since Sunday is described quiet and grey. This ambivalence, hidden in the title of the exhibition, was chosen as a main concern for the exhibition. Between everyday life and holiday, between normality and experiment, between work and leisure time, between party-time and boredom, the works of the invited artists span a panorama of the everyday world, into which disturbing moments break in. At the same time, consumption and its leisure-oriented aspects play a role when hard work is taken to create customers' dream worlds. Other works of the exhibition deal with the experience of sexuality between prostitution and partnership. Holidays intending a flight from daily routine, weekdays intending freedom of grey despair: The Exhibition will show the living worlds of the Ruhr region, which can be read either as a leisure park or a sad setting of paid work.


Artists: Julian Faulhaber, Birte Kaufmann, Katrin Koenning, Kiên Hoàng Lê, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Kathrin Tschirner, Christian Werner

Concept und Organisation: Peter Schmieder und Jens Sundheim

© f.r.t.l.: Christian Werner, Kiên Hoàng Lê, Kathrin Tschirner


HOME STORIES portrays people from different backgrounds who, for good reasons such as war, prosecution, or discrimination, had to leave their home countries and now live in their own apartments in Dortmund. The non-profit project tells the personal stories of people that are labeled as "refugee" with the help of impressive imagery and texts. HOME STORIES thus gives back some human dignity to those people and at the same time demonstrates the intense and indispensable social commitment of a civil society. The project gives a voice to "our new neighbors" and thus reveals the different background stories and dreams of a better future that are manifest when fleeing. HOME STORIES thus aims at cautiously contemplating and especially at talking to those people – not about them.


Artist: Alexandra Breitenstein

© Alexandra Breitenstein

Escaping Death

 In his photo documentary »Escaping Death«, the photographer Felix Kleymann accompanies refugees on their journey from Iraq to Germany.

Kleymann met these people on their escape way. His journey started in the north of Iraq, where he documented the live in the refugee camps, and went on to the camps in Turkey. This is a many people's starting point for making a way to Europe – hoping to survive and to be able to live a better life. Felix Kleymann accompanied a group of refugees from Turkey to Greece, over Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Austria until their arrival in Germany.

The journey took two months. Kleymann met people on the run – in camps, in run-down estates, in tents. He was able to convince a human trafficker to take him on board of a rubber boat headed towards Lesbos. Kleymann met people in extreme situations: traumatized by wartime experiences, lethargic from the boredom in the refugee camps, panicking in the dark at sea, exhausted on their way across Europe.

He learnt that one can buy the most elaborate wedding dresses in refugee camps and that at the same time the divorce rates are remarkably high there. He witnessed how refugees are offered improper life jackets for horrendous prizes, and how they are arrested on arrival on Lesbos.


Instead of being a neutral observer of these individual life stories, he assimilated into the social environment and accompanied those people. It was a two-month odyssey that allowed him to see the stories of these people unfold right in front of his eyes.


Artist: Felix Kleymann

© Felix Kleymann


Crossing borders implies to leave your comfort zone.

But it should be seen as a chance to look beyond one's own horizon and the possibility to create something new.

An idea, a thought, a feeling.

The striving for boundlessness is the striving for freedom.

When we are free, we can go any direction. There are no more borders.

They never really existed.

'Borders' is just a term, which can be interpreted in any way.

This is also shown in the exhibition 'X Dualismen' at Projektspeicher/Export 33.

Ten students from Folkwang University of Arts with similar backgrounds create completely different interpretations of given subject 'borders'.



Tabea Borchardt, Max Füllbier, Charlotte Hock, Melina Lilienfeldt-Karstner, Rebecca Racine Ramershoven, Alexander Scholle, Maximilian Schulz, Johanna Senger, Janik Weu, Lidong Zhao

© f.l.t.r.: Max Füllbier, Tabea Borchardt, Rebecca Racine Ramershoven, Tabea Borchardt

Limits of photography (1/2)

In physical as well as in mental fields, boundaries describe and define seperations between areas which then appear to be heterogenous: they are encapsulations which also include as well as exclude. In addition to natuarl and geographical boundaries, there are bounderies between the body and the mind or the soul or - depending on the piont of view - the psyche. Economic and social modalities of inclusion an exclusion can be found as well as ideological, religious or communicative boundaries. Boundaries can be defined as hardly any other fact of our being-in-the-world - and are thus also interesting photographic or photo theoretic discussion.


In cooperation between the Master's degree in Photographic Studies at the Department of Design at FH Dortmund and the Department of Photography at teh Seminar for Art and Art Science at the TU Dortmund, we have explored the issue of boundaries conceptually and visually and above all the limitations of the medium of photography. The result of this application-oriented research will be shown in two exhibitions during the f² photo festival. On the one handy, the university lecture / campus city of the TU Dortmund in the Dortmund U, and the other in the Werkhalle at the Union Gewerbehof.

Students of both courses will be exhibiting.


Artists: Students from the FH and TU Dortmund

Responsible academics: Dirk Gebhardt, Timo Klos und Marcel René Marburger

© f.l.t.r.: Marvin Eil, Carolina Brüchert-Pastor, Nikolai Hering

Poppy - Trails of Afghan Heroin

The Silk Road, connecting East Asia and the West ever since, was once a renowned trade route where goods but also religions and cultures have been in exchange. Today the route is mainly shut down, degenerated and used for drug trafficking. For more than 20 years, Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong have followed the traces of heroin that lead from Afghanistan over Central Asia, Russia and the Balkan Peninsula to East Africa, Dubai and West Europe. Brutal gang wars, deadly addiction, illegal money laundering, ruthless corruption as well as sex for sale combined with an HIV epidemic – the multimedia project „Poppy“ portrays these dark sides of globalization that are also reflected in the faces of dealers, prisoners, prostitutes, addicts, border guards and police men.


„Poppy“ illustrates how chaos, power and obscurity reign on the trade route of heroin. The recipient emerges into a complex parallel universe in which various events and developments are interwoven. The observer thus has to constantly reposition themselves and is drawn into a flood of imagery and information that is at the same time fascinating and alarming. In accordance with the complexity of the topic, Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong create an adequate aesthetic, experiment with non-linear forms of storytelling and allow the medium of photography to become one with other more dynamic techniques such as video and multi-screen projections.


Artists: Robert Knoth und Antoinette de Jong

© Robert Knoth