Marloes Krijnen Editor-in-Chief
Every year, for the past 12 years, photographers from all over the world have taken their time to share their work with us through the Foam Talent Call, wishing to be included in the Foam Magazine Talent Issue selection and internationally touring exhibition programme. And each year, for the past 12 years, the editors of Foam Magazine are faced with the challenge of selecting only 20 artists out of an ever expanding number of submissions — 1853 for the current edition alone. We are grateful to every single one of them, for trusting us with their work and granting us the great privilege of a front row seat to the fascinating and ever changing panorama of the future of photography.
The final selection of Foam Talent photographers each demonstrate a language and focus that speaks to the idea of what talent can look like. The variety here demonstrates the nature of the open call submission process, and is thrilling and revealing in its very design. Photographers from dozens of countries around the world share not just their projects with us, but also their visions, opinions and ambitions. From there, we are in the privileged position of guiding and enabling these photographers to new opportunities, thanks to the wider Talent Programme. We couldn’t do this without the support of our partners and sponsors who feel as strongly as we do the power of photography to understand ourselves and to be understood by others. With this year’s selection of Talents, we have the chance to welcome a new cohort and to expand the Foam family. Our 2018 Re/Connect event was the moment for previous and current Talents to come together at the museum, and to meet one another, discover, and present new work. With so many new images, and so many ideas being shared with us, we had the opportunity to create a special edition poster, featuring work by two previous Talents, Olga Cafiero and Katinka Goldberg. The extended What’s New feature lets us share even more images and ideas with readers as there was so much to choose from. In the featured interview, readers can dive into a fast flowing conversation between artist and photographer Trevor Paglen and Rahel Aima, who share thoughts on algorithms, machine learning and seeing, and political and visual systems of power. Looking towards the future, and using photography as a method for exploring unknown territories, ideas and notions of the self were reflected in many of the entries we received. There is a strong sense that the camera is still a crucial and integral part of how we understand our multiple worlds.
Portfolios range from using photography as a tool for processing, capturing and documenting ourselves, our lives and our worlds. There are portfolios aimed at better understanding private or public tragedy and ways of healing, while others deal with processing grief, nostalgia and homesickness by chronicling this passage in a visual format. Other bodies of work explore real and alternative realities and systems of belief, both medical and spiritual, and examine their impact on the large and small details of our lives. Some projects play with analogue and digital processes and boundaries, wherever these may lay and others approach ideas of youth and defining generational or national attitudes to life, (self) representation and visions of beauty while occasionally overlapping with ideas on history, politics, and memory . Alongside the magazine, the Talent programme includes internationally touring exhibitions, events and opportunities which build a platform for our photographers to continue forging a path for themselves. We look forward to working with all of them and look forward to having you on the journey with us.