Categories: Art

Der Greif x Quantum Reshaping The Future of Photography

Two years of Covid and quarantine has allowed us to reevaluate the contours of our lives; where and with whom we live, what institutional systems do or don’t work for us, what we keep and what we discard, both materially and psychologically. Shaking off what was, and embracing what will be, is necessary.

Quantum Art curators Kris Graves and Roula Seikaly collaborated with the online photography platform Der Greif on a Guest Room open call exhibition. Collections by three artists – Marcin Jozefiak, Julia Kafizova, and Margaret Murphy – were selected for TMRW, a single curated drop of images that imagine what an uncertain future may look like.

Each of the three artists choose one photo from the collection to share the story behind it.

Julia Kafizova is a Ukrainian photographer and artist. Born in 1986 in Horishni Plavni, Ukraine, she studied at the Academy of Photography in Warsaw. Her work has been shown in Ukraine, Poland and Portugal. Over the past three years, she has been exploring the issue of the body and self-identity using self-portraiture.

Julia Kafizova, lunch in metaverse, 2022.

Julia, can you choose one photo from the collection to share the story behind it?

I chose a picture where I toast to myself called “lunch in the metaverse”. Initially, I wanted myself to be depicted three times in this photo. Two are seated and one is in the middle of the table – the third one can be eaten for lunch. But then I decided that I could not eat myself, but celebrate my life by raising glasses of jelly. It is as if you are still here and now, but at the same time, the second you is already in another time, in another universe.

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Marcin T. Jozefiak is a Polish-British visual artist passionate about people and their stories. He moved to Seoul from London, where he majored in Fine Art Photography and worked as a photographer for Burberry starting his practice as both documentary and fashion photographer. His most recent work looks deeper into subcultures in South Korea and their sense of belonging and not to the constantly evolving but still conservative society.

Julia Kafizova, Fearless in Flowers, 2022.

Marcin, can you choose one photo from the collection to share the story behind it?

For me personally, this photograph is the essence of the entire project.  Muil is a tattoo artist in Seoul and one of the first people I photographed for this series. South Korea is still the only developed country where tattooing is outlawed unless you’re a medical doctor.

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Margaret Murphy is a photo-based artist residing in Los Angeles, CA. She holds her MFA in photography from the University of Hartford. Murphy’s art primarily focuses on social media, internet culture, and feminine identity and sexuality. Her work frequently uses lighting and digital manipulation to reference trends in popular culture and punctuated by her millennial existence, often delves into exploration of selfhood in the wake of consumer culture.

Margaret Murphy, Desperate for Affection, 2021.

Margaret, can you choose one photo from the collection to share the story behind it?

‘Desperate For Affection’ was made in April of 2020. At this point in lockdown, like many, I was starved for physical contact. Photographing for my thesis, I grabbed a banana that was turning for a prop. I made a few pictures with it unopened, but the overtly phallic nature of the fruit felt somewhat one-note in the pictures. Frustrated, I decided to pause and eat it, knowing that my workflow would likely benefit from a snack. The spotty yellow and brown peel that remained was so viscerally tactile–slick and malleable like skin. I delicately draped it over my knee and baby pink pandemic-painted nails, imagining it the hand of a lover or friend. In that moment after satiating my hunger for a snack, it satiated my hunger for touch.

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