The Festival La Gacilly-Baden Photo is entering its sixt year. It appeals strongly to visitors by presenting themes of a clearly humanist orientation. In 2023 its 35 exhibitions deal with a variety of aspects in the relations between humans and their environment.
The festival extends over a length of 7 kilometres – divided into a “garden route” and a “town route”, starting from the visitor center on Brusattiplatz. Integrated into the public space are about 1,500 photographs, some as large as 280m².
It is the largest outdoor photo festival in Europe. In 2022, a total of 485,277 visitors attended the La Gacilly-Baden Photo Festival and its exhibition partners in Tulln and Celje. While 103,207 guests visited Tulln, 142,000 photo enthusiasts saw the exhibition on peace in Celje. Admission is free.
ORIENT! focuses on photographers from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three countries that all belong to the Persian cultural area. Three predominantly Muslim countries with Indo-European populations that remain subject to the laws of religion and obscurantism. Three countries that we know little about, although they have captured the hearts of all travellers like Marco Polo. Three countries whose photographers are the defenders of positive thinking and ambassadors of environmental awareness. Three countries that are home to a millennia-old civilisation, a unique artistic creativity and courageous authors who have chosen photography to define their place in society. Photographers from these countries have always chosen to break conventions in order to develop an innovative style and look at people and gods with a humanistic eye. Honour to whom honour is due: Abbas, Gohar Dashti, Ebrahim Noroozi, Maryam Firuzi, Hashem Shakeri, Paul Almasy, Véronique de Viguerie, Fatimah Hossaini, Shah Marai and Wakil Kohsar, Sarah Caron.
Since its inception, the festival has never wavered from its mission to show the beauty of nature as well as to address the need to protect it. Through the prism of photography, we aim to highlight the challenges of a sustainable world without naivety. At the same time, the sometimes dramatic reality is never disregarded. All photographs are signs of our unshakeable belief in the future. The photographers at our festival are determined to be witnesses and part of the effort to preserve our most beautiful common asset – planet Earth: Mélanie Wenger, Bernard Descamps, Gabriele Cecconi, Stephan Gladieu, Money Sharma, Reporters Without Borders, Antonin Borgeaud, Jérôme Blin, Alisa Martynova, Maxime Taillez, Chloé Azzopardi.
This year, the bilateral photo project of the Morbihan schools in Brittany and Lower Austria is dedicated to the theme of openings. Whether in the literal or figurative sense, the concept of opening also encompasses communication and journeys to new places or people. Ultimately, it raises the question of the construction of our individual and collective identity and our relationship with others.
Photography undoubtedly remains the most incisive tool for changing public opinion and for preserving glimmers of humanity. The Austrian photographers Rudolf Koppitz and Horst Stasny also stand in this tradition. From Gregor Schörg, the festival will show the second part of his work on the wilderness area Dürrenstein-Lassingtal. The exhibition of Lower Austrian professional photographers and the exhibition of the winning photos of the world’s largest photo competition, CEWE’s „Our World is Beautiful„, with almost 700,000 pictures from 170 countries, will round up the festival, as will the retrospective of 2021 in the pictures of the artist in residence Pascal Maitre. A photographic highlight is the commissioned work to Cathrine Stukhard, who visited the World Heritage Site of Vichy and placed it in the context of UNESCO’s eleven „Great Spa Towns of Europe“, which also includes Baden near Vienna.
Under the guiding principle of Culture of Solidarity, the cooperation with the festival partners Garden Tulln, Celje in Slovenia and Month of Photography Bratislava will continue in 2023.
The La Gacilly-Baden Photo Festival will take place from 15 June to 15 October 2023.
The Media Day will take place on 11 August 2023 and the Long Night of Photography on 12 August 2023.
Festival impressions from Baden bei Wien in Austria
The 2018 Festival was the start of an exclusive cooperation of La Gacilly and Baden. The photo festival will now be held every summer, first in La Gacilly and in the following year in Baden. What you see in Baden in 2023 was shown in France in 2022 and will continue in this sequence. This opens up an opportunity to admire the world’s best photographers, first in the west of our continent and then in the heart of Europe.
Once upon a time a capable young man in Brittany began to build up a small, exquisite cosmetics business. Yves Rocher succeeded in creating a global brand with his organic products and his intelligent distribution system. The company is still based near the village of La Gacilly. Jacques Rocher, one of Yves’ sons and long-term mayor of his birthplace, had a wonderful idea. In 2004 Jacques initiated a photo festival in La Gacilly dedicated to the theme of Man and the Environment. With a firm conviction that it boosts understanding if you break down global problems to the level of the village and the family. He began by providing an opportunity for people to engage with the future of the Earth and of humanity in a comprehensible manner. To this end he harnesses the possibilities of photography, the most powerful, topical, contemporary and expressive art form of the last one hundred years. And he caught the spirit of our times.
Contacts between Baden and La Gacilly evolved from a friendship between Jacques Rocher and Lois Lammerhuber, a major contemporary Austrian photographer. Lammerhuber has created well over 1000 photo reports, about 250 of them for GEO magazine. Add to that 79 books and hundreds of magazine covers. In 2009, jointly with his wife Silvia Lammerhuber, he founded publishing house Edition Lammerhuber, which has since received more than 200 awards and was voted best European photo book publisher in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Lammerhuber has been a member of the Art Directors Club New York since 1994. In 2014 he was awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class, followed in 2017 by the Golden Medal of Honour for Services to the City of Vienna and the Grand Medal of Honour for Services to the Province of Lower Austria.
Festival impressions from La Gacilly in France