Whether there is a breath or an ocean between us, a second of silence or a millennium, a piece of glass or a wall, something is going on in these spaces that connect us. The borders that have been constructed between places, times, and even between species are also parameters for relations to maintain or to transform, to revive or to invent from scratch. Proximity and distance should not be considered only as opposites: they are like dancing magnets, in an eternal tension or in search of balance. Moreover, the desire for closeness does not only imply a reduction of distance, because moving back is sometimes necessary too—even in photography, we often need to step back in order to get closer to something, to approach an image. It’s also a question of being attentive and listening, to the point of redefining what we are.
In this year’s particular context, including the pandemic and the temporary relocation of our activities, VU has decided to focus its attention on relations to be maintained or created, with artists who will make us reflect on what connects us to others, to things, and to ourselves. Coproduction and residency programs, workshops, and work groups will be offered to artists, and local and international exchanges will be developed. Off-site projects, occasional events, and outreach activities will allow images to circulate between us. At a time when we often have to see both photographs and each other on screens, VU wants to recall the importance of materiality in our relations with people and works of art.