international biennal exhibition of photographic art

The international exhibition of printed photography “Photomedia” has been organized every second year since 1988 by the photo club “Elema”.

Its beginnings goes back to 1988, when photo clubs from two sister cities – Skopje (Macedonia) and Nurnberg (Germany) organized the first joint photographic exhibition as part of the manifestation “Skopje Summer 1988”. The members of the Photo Club “Elema” from Skopje and the Photo Club “Nurnberg” from the same city, led by their common passion for photography and the creative artistic potential of this medium, exhibited 66 artworks from 10 German and 9 Macedonian authors. The exhibition was moved afterwards to Nurnberg and officially opened by the current German Minister of Culture and the Mayor of Nurnberg.

In 1989 the organizers from Skopje and Nurnberg invited photographers from Belgrade and they prepared the second international photograph exhibition – “Skopje-Nurnberg-Belgrade”. The idea was to make this exhibition traditional, with a permanent increase of participants from various countries.

In 1990, the members of the Photo Club “Elema”, encouraged by the success of the previous exhibitions and the vast interest of the audience, organized this exhibition as a photo competition named “Photomedia”. Then, the directions of this photo manifestation were truly defined: it will take the shape of a competition, accept only printed photography, be biennial and works would be judged by an international jury.

As of 1996, the exhibition is organized under the patronage of FIAP. Furthermore, the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition has been awarded with 5 stars by FIAP for the last four exhibitions (2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010). “Photomedia” 2008 was ranked in the 15th most prestige world exhibitions by FIAP.

The number of participants has constantly increased in time, thus improving the quality and the rating of the exhibition and now, after more than 20 years from the first exhibition, “Photomedia” has grovned into one of the most important and prestige photo exhibitions in Macedonia.

On Photomedia,

Photography has always been a storytelling with light. Therefore, it is not by accident that its name is connection between light and writing (photos + graphos).

It tells stories about society, but also about nature, stories about individuals and stories about collectives. That is why writing with light, especially the contemporary – digitalized, today can be done by everybody. But, fortunately, everyday photography for home archives and art photography are parted with impassable gap. Just like in automobile industry: a hundred million people have cars, but only a few can be Formula 1 drivers. It is the same in the photography: billions and billions photographs are made daily with accessible digital cameras or mobile phones, but from the other side, against that quantity, lies small number of successful and quality art and agency photographs. The same condition rules is in the world of fine art, where commercialization of art leads to its globalization and leveling, or, in other words, in telling equal stories all over the world. Art photography separates from this world of similarity, building new worlds of differences, telling different stories. That is where its power and its beauty is hidden.

Ph.D. Ivan Djeparoski, aesthetician,
2012, Skopje, Macedonia