Copenhagen Photo Festival 2023 is showcasing an artistically and conceptually ambitious programme that celebrates creativity and experimentation within photography and lens-based art, and aims to build bridges between fine art and documentary photography.
The festival takes place at our Festival Center on Refshaleøen as well as at collaborating galleries, museums and cultural institutions in Copenhagen and southern Sweden. For 11 days, photography is on the agenda through exhibitions, workshops, talks, photobook market and more.
The open call is for artists and photographers who want to break new ground and challenge the idea of what photography is and can be, now and in the future. The winners of the open call will get the opportunity to present a solo exhibition at Copenhagen Photo Festival 2023.
We put great focus on architectural and spatial considerations when we design the specific exhibition in co-creation with the artists. Led by our principle of sustainability, we strive to find creative ways to use both our indoor exhibition venue Frame, as well as its surrounding nature in the exhibition park as platforms for our exhibition design.
Copenhagen Photo Festival solo exhibitions aim to expand the boundaries of exhibiting photography and focus on sustainable development, not least in relation to the specific place the festival is situated, but also with regards to the materiality of displaying photography, as well as presenting new perspectives and emerging talents.
In 2023 Copenhagen is appointed the world capital of architecture, and the festival will be part of the celebration, which is dedicated to the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals. We have chosen the overarching theme of ‘Rewilding’ for this year’s open call to connect with the celebration, the sustainability theme and to build bridges to our own exhibition park situated in the urban wilderness of Beddingen on Refshaleøen, which used to be an industrial shipyard building site.
‘Rewilding’ refers to a process of letting nature regulate itself without human interference. Instead of ‘caring’ for nature in a way that serves human purposes or profits, rewilding seeks to restore, repair or even cure nature in a sustainable way that serves nature in itself and aids our gasping climate and biodiversity. The concept has flourished in recent years and proposes solutions but also contests existing (man-made) structures and power relations.
In the context of architecture, rewilding proposes new (or returning) perspectives on how to deal with the current climate and biodiversity crisis and as such it may inspire future (urban) landscape solutions and how we may perceive urban living in the future.
However, we hope the theme will inspire artists seeking our open call to explore ‘rewilding’ in the widest sense of the concept and the complexities it entails. From the rewilding of nature or architecture as mentioned above to the rewilding of other spheres e.g. art, individuals, bodies, society, social structures or photography in itself. What are the implications of ‘rewilding’?
As a solo artist at Copenhagen Photo Festival you are selected as one of the headliners of our festival. The solo artists are chosen within three areas that serve the purpose of presenting photography across genres by focusing on: the individual, society and art. Applicants must therefore, be able to define which of these categories their project most correlates with within the overarching theme of ‘Rewilding’.
In their applications we also invite solo artists to consider how they may invigorate their photographic work in the urban outdoor space/wilderness of our exhibition park at Refshaleøen or if their work is suited best in an indoor setting.
We urge applicants to propose how the materiality of the work can be presented, produced or designed in a sustainable way.
See examples of the work of the open call 2022 winners here: https://copenhagenphotofestival.com/en/festival-2022/focalpoints/
As an exhibitor at Copenhagen Photo Festival, your work will receive international exposure on a plethora of platforms giving you a chance to connect with other art and photography professionals. Exhibitors will more specifically receive:
A solo exhibition in the heart of the festivals exhibition park
€ 530 fee as a festival participant.
€ 320 support for travel to and accomodation in CPH (for international photographers)
Copenhagen Photo Festival will cover the expenses for the exhibition
A targeted PR- and marketing strategy for your exhibition on Copenhagen Photo Festival's communication platforms
Country of residence
Biography with up to 1500 characters
CV with up to 2000 characters (or PDF file)
1 project per submission
10 to 25 files per project
Allowed file types: JPG
At least 1500px on the long edge
Image date (year)
The programme committee that will be selecting the Solo Artists for Copenhagen Photo Festival 2023 consists of highly qualified professionals, who have expertise within curation, photojournalism and art. By bringing together an array of perspectives we ensure that each applicant's work is considered and selected in regards to aesthetic, conceptual and journalistic aspects.
The CPF Programme Committee
Søren Pagter, Head of Dep. of photojournalism, Danish School of Media and Journalism
Maja Dyrehauge Gregersen, Managing Director of Copenhagen Photo Festival
Mie Brinkmann, Photo Editor at Weekendavisen
Patricia Breinholm, Curator & Head of Communication at Martin Asbæk Gallery
The application must include a biography, artist statement and CV.
Applicants must present a project description of up to 3000 characters that explains the finalized concept.
The concept must fit one of the festival's three programme pillars (see the description above) and within this theme the applicants must also define which of the three areas the individual, society or art their project most correlates.
The project description must outline the concept of your project: The expected number of works, the format and material of the works, if AV equipment is needed and if the project has been exhibited before (see terms and conditions).
The project submitted must never have been exhibited in Denmark before.
You must present a minimum of 10 images that support the concept.
Image size: Minimum 1500px on the long side, sRGB.
Copenhagen Photo Festival commits to providing equal opportunities, and we encourage people of all ethnic backgrounds, races, religions, ages, genders, disabilities, sexual orientations, or social statuses to apply.
Applicants must be open to dialogue with CPF about the presentation of their work.
We encourage exhibitors to consider themselves ambassadors of the festival and expect them to take part in activities both before and during the festival, both online and in person.
I would like to submit more than one project. Is it possible?
No, you are only allowed to submit one project.
Can I enter as a duo or collective?
Yes, you are allowed.
Who pays for the production of my work?
An agreement will be made depending on the selected works and their situation.
Are the exhibits guarded?
There will be employees present during the festival
Is my exhibition insured?
Your works will be insured during the period they are exhibited in the festival centre.
What does my application fee cover?
Only one submission allowed per photographer. The fee of 47€ contributes to the administration costs covering the selection process as well as the marketing of the festival and the individual exhibitions.
Who are previously selected artists?
See the selected solo artists here: https://copenhagenphotofestival.com/en/exhibitions/solo-artists/