3-6 Sept. 2019

Rethymno, Crete

© Joel Sternfeld

“Have the chances for Utopia been lost?”
Art Photography in the Future

“No individual photo explains anything. That’s what makes photography such a wonderful and problematic medium. It is the photographer’s job to get this medium to say what you need it to say.”

Every day over 2 billion photographs are uploaded on Facebook – thanks to automated picture making, they’re all pretty good. So, what is the role of the artist photographer in a coming age of citizen journalists armed with 50-megapixel iPhone cameras?
One model would have it that they would be, as any author, bringing their fascination, or their poetic sensibility, or their special knowledge of a subject and conveying them through narrative and conceptual strategies. And if that fascination or special knowledge was articulated over numerous bodies of work or iterations, the statement of the artist photographer might be evaluated by the same modalities appropriate to any author and any authored work.
We know that there is no such thing as documentary/objective photography. If the artist photographer of the future let go of any pretense to a universal truth and presented their truth as cogently and cohesively as possible, their work would be situated in a space not unlike all other beliefs, and the viewer of the work could admire or reject the work, free of the taints and labels that have plagued photography in the 20th century.
This is a workshop for people who are not particularly interested in photography, but who are viscerally concerned with some phenomenon in the world. The means to identify that interest with precision and the methodologies to present it persuasively as art will be at the core of this experience. This is a dangerous time in the world: it may not be a time for subtlety. Artists who can passionately convey ideas will have an important role to play in the years ahead.


This 4-day workshop will operate as a laboratory with an emphasis on re-constructing the identity and the role of an artist today.
Joel Sternfeld will spend part of this workshop sharing and discussing his work and methodologies about new ways of expanding the limits of photographic/artistic expression and visual culture within an era of obviously collapsing certainties and great narratives. Participants are expected to develop their works in progress or create new body of work by exploring their own intentions and interests.
Group or individual assignments will encourage the participants to build a cohesive narrative. Expanding the possibilities of the medium, combining its poetic and documentary aspects with the use of text or other narrative means, seeing into how a project can be critically aware of the content and context, will be focal points of this workshop.


Joel Sternfeld is an artist-photographer whose work is concerned with the utopic and dystopic possibilities of the American experience, as well as those of the human experience. Ever since the publication of his landmark study, American Prospects (1987), his work has maintained conceptual and political aspects, while also being steeped in history, art history, landscape theory, and seasonality. On This Site (1996) examines violence in America while simultaneously raising the question of what is knowable from a single photograph. All his subsequent work has sought to expand the narrative possibilities of still photography primarily through an authored text. His work is as ironic as it is dignified, as poetic as it is documentary. It represents a melding of time and place that serves to elucidate, honor, and warn. His books converse with each other and may be read as a collective whole. Sternfeld is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships and spent a year in Italy on a Rome Prize. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, where he holds the Noble Foundation Chair in Art and Cultural History.


The workshop is open up to a maximum of 15 participants.

Cost: 750€

Submissions deadline: 27th July 2019

After completing the workshop the participants will get a certificate of attendance.

Submission requirements

  •  a selection of your work, up to 15 images jpg / 72dpi / 1200px long side
  •  supporting text of up to 300 words describing your work
  •  a short bio
  •  contact details / e-mail & telephone number

images and text must be compressed into a single ZIP file (total size up to 50MB)


Submit your work via wetransfer.com
Send to mail: info@medphoto.gr

All photographers must bring all necessary equipment, like cameras, laptops, memory sticks etc that apply to their creative process.
The participants will be notified through email on 2nd August 2019 and will be announced on our website a few days later.