Open Call 2023: Photography in Progress

The submission deadline has been reached! Thank you for the many exciting submissions from all over the world! We will get back to you with the jury results in early/mid-February!

1. The Subject: Photography in Progress

2. The Judges 

3. Schedule

4. How to Apply

5. Conditions of participation

1. The Subject: Photography in Progress
With the title "Photography in Progress", the Open Call provides a thematic framework for artistic explorations of the medium of photography, whose production mechanisms are just as much in flux as they are capable of producing new visual languages and modes of use. "Photography in Progress" focuses on contemporary thematic fields of photography and at the same time illuminates how the constantly changing digital image practices can affect artistic approaches. With the Open Call, the photography scene provides a platform for current photographic positions and is looking forward to versatile submissions from artists who work with the medium of photography and its extended sense of the post-photographic. The submitted works will be reviewed by a jury and selected for a group exhibition at the Photoszene Festival in May 2023.

2. The Judges
Daria Bona

Daria Bona is photo historian and curator. She studied art history with a focus on history and theory of photography, art management and Romance studies (M.A.) in Cologne and Granada. From 2019 to 2022, she was a fellow of the Alfried Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach Foundation in the program "Museum Curators for Photography" and worked at Stadtmuseum München, Museum Folkwang in Essen, Fotomuseum Winterthur, and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, where she collaborated on numerous exhibition and publication projects. She currently works for the photographic collection of the Stadtmuseum Düsseldorf and is part of the curatorial team of the RAW Phototriennale Worpswede 2023. She lives and works in Cologne.

Adelheid Komenda

Adelheid Komenda is Scientific referent for the photography department at the LVR-LandesMuseum Bonn. Studied art history, Slavic studies and Eastern European history. From 2000 to 2006 expert for photography at Kunsthaus Lempertz, Cologne, then self-employed; among other things, responsibility of projects such as OPEN SPACE at Art Cologne (until 2010). From 2011 to 2021 deputy managing director of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst at Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Exhibitions and publications on Hermann Claasen, Liselotte Strelow, Hugo Erfurth, photography of the Weimar Republic and German photography around 1980, among others. Memberships: Deutscher Verband für Kunstgeschichte e.V., ICOM, Gesellschaft Photo Archiv e.V. (treasurer); DGPh e.V. (member of the executive board).
(Photo Ralf Bauer)

Thomas Seelig

Thomas Seelig is Head of the Photographic Collection at the Museum Folkwang in Essen and has curated exhibitions on Marge Monko, Anastasia Mityukova, Aenne Biermann,, Timm Rautert, Tobias Zielony and IMAGE CAPITAL (Estelle Blaschke/Armin Linke), among others. He studied Visual Communication/Photography at the University of Applied Sciences Bielefeld, followed by a curatorial study program at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. From 2003 to 2018 he was curator/collection curator at Fotomuseum Winterthur (from 2013 to 2017 as its director), where he was involved in the development of the experimental exhibition format SITUATIONS. Curated exhibitions. Im Rausch der Dinge (2004), Forschen und Erfinden (2007), James Welling (2013), Onoroto/Krebs (2015), Jungjin Lee (2016), and The Hobbyist (2017).

Linda Conze

Linda Conze is Head of the Photography Collection at the Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, where she recently curated an exhibition on the work of East German photographer Evelyn Richter. After studying history in Hamburg and Berlin, where she graduated with a thesis on the medium of the photo album, she completed her PhD at Humboldt University on photography as a medium of community between the Weimar Republic and National Socialism. From 2015 to 2017, she was a fellow of the Krupp Foundation in the program for museum curators in photography and worked in the photographic collections of the Museum Folkwang, the Kupferstich-Kabinett Dresden, the Stadtmuseum München, and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

Alexander Hagmann

Alexander Hagmann is founder and editor of 'dieMotive - Zeitschrift zur Kultur der Fotografie', as well as producer of the dieMotive podcast and developer of the card game FOTOGRAFENRATEN. He studied photography at the FH Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, where he completed his Master in Photography - Photographic Studies at Prof. Susanne Brügger and Dr. Christiane Kuhlmann. Besides his project dieMotive, Alexander Hagmann works as a freelance photographer and designer and is responsible for digital communication at Photoszene Köln.
Hagmann describes himself as a communicator for photography. He lives and works in Hamburg and is a member of the DFA as well as a member of the DGPh. His work as a founding member of the cahiers magazine series and as organizer as well as moderator of the symposium "Vom Nutzen der Bilder" inspired him to the concept of dieMotive.

Dana Bergmann

Dana Bergmann studied art history with a focus on photography and media history in Cologne and Madrid (M.A.). From 2016 to 2018 she worked as a research assistant and from 2018 to 2020 as a curator at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf where she was responsible for national and international solo and group exhibitions (Akademie [Arbeitstitel] 2017, Yngve Holen. Horses 2018, SUBJEKT and OBJEKT. FOTO RHEIN RUHR 2020) as well as the conception of numerous exhibition catalogs. From 2020 to 2022, she worked as project manager and curator for the IMAI Foundation - Inter Media Art Institute in Düsseldorf and the Anna Polke Foundation in Cologne, among others. In 2022 she realized the program "We Do/Are Photography" as project manager for the International Photoscene Cologne.

Damian Zimmermann

Damian Zimmermann writes as a freelance journalist and art critic for numerous daily newspapers and magazines. Between 2010 and 2012, he collaborated with Nadine Preiß on the long-term photography project "Paare - Menschenbilder aus der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zu Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts," which was published by Kettler Verlag in 2015 and exhibited at the LVR-Landesmuseum Bonn. Other exhibitions have taken place in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Munich, Landshut, and in Linz, Austria, as part of a residency at the art university there. Currently, his exhibition "Transit - Chorweiler x Kollwitz" with portraits of children and young people can be seen at the Käthe Kollwitz Museum in Cologne. Zimmermann also works as a curator and realized exhibitions at the NRW Forum Düsseldorf and the Kölner Stadtmuseum, among others. At Photoszene Köln, he is chief editor of the magazine L.Fritz and organized the series of talks "Auf einen Kaffee mit...”.

3. Schedule
Submissions: 1 November to 31 December 2022
Jury meeting: end of January 2023
Exhibition: 12 May - 11 June 2023
Exhibition venue: Art rooms of the Michael Horbach Foundation

4. How to Apply
To participate in the Open Call, please submit the following documents as a PDF by e-mail to, as well as catalogues or similar by post to "Internationale Photoszene Köln gUG, Im Mediapark 7, 50670 Köln" with the subject "Open Call 2023":

- Completed and signed application form
- CV with details of place of birth, residence and education and information on exhibition biography.
- Portfolio and artistic statement
- Concrete artistic work for the Open Call as project outline or documentation
- Catalogues, portfolio (not obligatory)

5. Conditions of participation

 Who can participate?

- The Photoszene Open Call is open to all professional artists and photographers of all ages.
- The Photoszene Open Call is open to artists, photographers, students and graduates who work with the medium of photography and its extended tools.
- The Photoszene Open Call is open internationally
- Half of the exhibition "Photography in Progress" will present artistic positions from North Rhine-Westphalia, the other half national and international positions. Thus, on the one hand, the Photoszene Open Call is aimed at people who come from North Rhine-Westphalia, have studied in North Rhine-Westphalia or currently live and work in North Rhine-Westphalia. On the other hand, the Open Call is aimed at international and national artists.

 What can be submitted?

- Completed and signed application form
- An artistic work (individual work, series, installation) for participation in a curated group exhibition at the Photoszene Festival in May 2023.
- The theme of the Open Call is "Photography in Progress". The Photoszene is thus interested in artistic works that are characterised by an examination of current technical developments, the use of contemporary digital image practices and/or current thematic issues.
- Photographic series on technical change, progress and the effects of the medium can be submitted as well as audio-visual works in the exhibition space.
- The works can be linked to the theme "Photography in Progress" in terms of content and/or technique.
- The subjects are thematically open. The jury will evaluate a specific artistic expression that reflects the current discourses of the medium, including the medial expansion into video, new media and computer arts. The photo scene is also interested in new forms of presentation.
- The work should not be older than 3 years
- The work should not yet have been shown in larger exhibition contexts.

What does the artist receive?

- The work will be shown in a group exhibition in the art spaces of the Michael Horbach Foundation as part of the Photoszene Festival 2023 in Cologne.
- Each juried position will receive an exhibition fee of 500€.
- There is the possibility of a production cost subsidy if the work has not yet been produced or needs to be adapted for the exhibition space
- The group exhibition will be integrated into an international publicity and press campaign as part of the Photoszene Festival and made accessible to a large audience
What can I submit? 

- Completed and signed application form
- A curriculum vitae (CV) with details of birthplace, place of residence and place of education.
- An artistic statement with a portfolio of past work and/or a meaningful website
- A project outline or project PDF of the work you are submitting for the Open Call.
- The project outline must broadly address the work/the body of work in its entirety
* Project description (max. 1,800 characters)
* If multi-part: approximate number of photographs, objects, works
* Information on materiality (e.g. is video technology required?)
* Format of the work
* Has the work already been shown? If so, when, how and where?
* The requested documents must be sent by e-mail to by 31 December 2022.
* PDF files with a maximum size of 10 MB must be submitted.
* Catalogues, brochures etc. can be submitted by post to: Internationale Photoszene Köln gUG, Im Mediapark 7, 50670 Cologne (not obligatory).
What is the timetable?

- The Open Call will start from 1 November 2022.
- The deadline for submissions is 23:59 31 December 2022
- The jury will meet at the end of January 2023
- Participating artists will be informed about their participation at the beginning of February.


Thank you for 572 exciting submissions! The submission deadline has been reached! Your Photoszene!