The notion of trading “off-market” is allusive to activity performed outside of the formal marketplace, while “off to market” states an intention to attend to trade in a recognised space.
The choice in title for this showcase references the many so-called “alternative” markets which allow for legible and agile photography to perform itself to informed and ready audiences.
The projects produced in the fourth Photography Incubator Programme probe and explore these little attended “markets”, spaces where ideas within and on photography may be shared or traded.
The incubates have used this opportunity to question the proliferation of the image in our contemporary setting while also investigating the poor reflexes evident in archiving and historicising images created for personal use and expression.
In this showcase, Lebogang Tlhako imagines the tote as a mobile exhibition space for earrings she trades online while Nocebo Bucibo adopts text as an alternative F-stop, the BLD Collective excavates family memories and notions of self-value by revisiting the family album, and Tsepo Gumbi creates an online home for photographers seeking clients, workshops and scholarship.
These photographers have each reinforced the need to engage with markets outside of the traditional; they have found their niche audiences and seek to cater their bespoke products, the tactile and intangible. They have all gone successfully “off-market” and to market.
The Market Photo Workshop, with support from the department of arts and culture, conducted the 2018 Photography Incubator Programme.
The photography enterprises and entrepreneurship programme uses job experience, combined with technical and theoretical support and incubation, with the aim of enhancing and elevating photographers’ business ventures and artistic practice.
The seven-month long programme provided participants with the practical experience and exposure to fully understand major aspects of the enterprise of photography.
This includes photography entrepreneurship and business management, gallery practice, photography archives and collections, curatorial practice, editing, training and participatory projects and explored photography through artistic, commercial, and media practice.
The rationale behind the programme is to benefit emerging photographers. The main objectives are to develop local content and economies in townships by giving emerging photographers access to resources and business opportunities.