The Foundation of Cultural and Informational Projects FotoDepartament is a Saint-Petersburg based independent non-profit organization with a focus on contemporary photography.
It was established in 2006 by photographer and curator Olga Korsunova, art-manager and photo critic Nadya Sheremetova, and art historian Elena Zyrianova. Previously, all initiators were involved in organizations as Foundation Saint-Petersburg Photo Workshops and The State Centre of Photography ROSPHOTO.
FotoDepartament is a non-profit platform that represents its own interests being independent in its aims, decisions and choices. Promoting foreign photography practices in Russia as well as promoting Russian photography locally and abroad, FotoDepartament combines the activities of several different initiatives. The Foundation organizes exhibition, educational, informational and other large-scale projects on contemporary photography.
The main goals and objectives of FotoDepartament are:
– To present and promote contemporary international photography in Russia;
– To support and develop art and documentary photography projects in Russia;
– To support and develop networks in Russia as an artistic, institutional, industrial and commercial framework for contemporary photography;
– To involve a broad audience in a dialogue with contemporary photography by organizing seminars, lectures, symposiums and other public events;
– To increase and improve the visual culture of professional photographers, emerging photographers, and the wider public;
– To present and promote Russian contemporary photography abroad;
– To develop and participate in international collaborative projects.
In order to achieve the above mentioned goals and objectives FotoDepartament developed the following activities:
The Gallery focuses on Russian contemporary photography and represents both well-established artists and emerging talents.
The Gallery exhibition space serves as a platform for personal and group curatorial exhibitions that are usually accompanied by special publications, such as artists’ books, magazines, and zines. There are several emerging names in Russian contemporary photography represented by the Gallery: Margo Ovcharenko (included in ReGeneration2 book and exhibition), Kirill Savchenkov, Kir Esadov, Daria Tuminas (winner of Viewbook Photostory 2010 contest, Lucie Award winner, 2011), Aleksey Vanushkin (1st Runner Up in PBN 2011), Max Sher, Irina Yulieva, Alexander Sedelnikov, Jana Romanova (3d place at Portfolio Review in Bratislava, 2011), Anastasya Tailakova and others.
The Gallery also shapes and supports the art photography archive of FotoDepartament, which includes works of contemporary artists and historical archives from private collections.
FotoDepartament has an active exhibition policy and develops exhibition projects in cooperation with national and international partners. More than 50 exhibitions of both young and famous authors were held during the 5 years. Each exhibition is a bright event in the cultural life of the city, attracting more and more attention. Each project receives wide coverage in mass media and Internet.
Foundation carries on exhibition and public activities which main goal is to involve broad audience in dialogue with contemporary photography by organizing of personal and curatorial exhibitions of Russian and international artists in documentary and art photographic areas. As well as creating discussion on art and particular photography issues by organizing seminars, lectures, symposiums and other open events related to make photography more visible and understandable to professional and wide audience.
FotoDepartament organizes various educational projects to promote Russian and international contemporary photography and to develop and stimulate photography practice in Russia.
In 2010, out of all Russian and CIS-countries photography platforms FotoDepartament was chosen by NOOR (the Netherlands based agency) as the main partner for organizing a NOOR-NIKON week master-class on documentary photography for talented photojournalists from Russia and the CIS-countries.
FotoDepartament organized a number of workshops by internationally recognized photographers and photography-related professionals, for example Yuri Kozyrev, Rena Effendy, Igor Mukhin, Anya Chibisova, Andrey Polikanov, Liza Faktor, Anna Zekria, Sergey Maximishin.
The key educational events are International Summer Photography Workshops (SPW) that have been organized by FotoDepartament for more than five years. The following artists cooperated with FotoDepartament teaching at SPW: Hellen van Meene (the Netherlands), Jan Grarup (Denmark), Pieter ten Hoopen (Sweden), Morten Andersen (Norway), Arja Hootiainen (Finland), Nikolai Howalt (Denmark), Michael Ackerman (USA), Vanessa Winship (Great Britain), and others. Students and participants from all over the Russia and former Soviet republics have attended the workshops (from 80 till 100 participants each year how many?). Besides the intensive educational program, the SPW includes portfolio-reviews for emerging photographers and many open events, exhibitions, meetings and lectures for a wide audience.
Since spring 2011 FotoDepartament launched 4 month long educational program “Photography as a research” that includes a number of courses devoted to contemporary photographic practices and theory of photography, taught by local photography experts.
Informational center and library – the center offers an open access to photography books and magazines, a digital database on Russian and foreign photographers, an overview of international tendencies, as well as information on educational, exhibition events, galleries, festivals, organizations and all the other information connected with photography.
FotoDepartament leads projects on its own funds and obtains donations, sponsorships and grant funds.
Both, the Foundation and the Gallery since May 2017 are located on Dvorcovaya nab, 20 / ground floor, in the very centre of Saint-Petersburg. Thus, FotoDepartament is easily accessible and attractive for visitors of all target groups: professionals, wide audience, guests of the city, etc. Additionally, the space provides the guests with a library, a book store, and a digital database on Russian and foreign photographers.
Dvorcovaya nab, 20, ground floor
“Taiga” creative space
Saint-Petersburg / Russia