About the Biennial

The largest photography and lens-based biennial in America, FotoFocus is in a category of its own. In 2020, more than 450 artists, curators, and educators are expected to collaborate with FotoFocus on photography and lens-based art exhibitions and projects at museums, galleries, and universities across Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Dayton, and Columbus, Ohio throughout the month of October 2020.

Each FotoFocus Biennial is structured around a unifying theme. For 2020, that theme is light&—exploring light and its contrasts in relation to photography and the world at large. Though not perceptive itself, light is the substance that makes objects in the world visible and in color, and capable of being transcribed onto a two-dimensional surface resulting in a photograph or film. Light has many metaphorical nuances—it conjures hope as well as clarity, rational thought, and is central to many popular phrases, such as “see the light of day” and “bring to light”—but ultimately light is the one essential physical property that makes lens-based art possible. FotoFocus will present the Biennial Program, its own curated and guest-curated projects, and support Participating Venue exhibitions and programming that considers light and its myriad meanings.

The FotoFocus 2020 Biennial Program Week, which runs October 1–4, constitutes the core of the Biennial, establishing the theme and dialogues which unite the broader programming. There will be talks, performances, screenings, and receptions with exceptional artists and curators.

Press Release as a PDF: FotoFocus Announces 2020 Biennial Theme light&


Launched in October 2012, the FotoFocus Biennial is a regional, month-long celebration of photography and lens-based art held throughout the greater Cincinnati region. FotoFocus was built around the idea of collaboration. The collective experience is developed through a unique cooperation between art museums, artists, curators, and educators in the exploration of the photographic art form. The Biennial brings together the community to celebrate October as the Month of Photography.

Previous Biennials

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