There’s only a few days left to submit to the current #FotoRoomOPEN edition: the winner will have a solo show at Fotogalleri Vasli Souza, a 120 square meters gallery dedicated exclusively to contemporary photography in Malmö, Sweden. We had a quick chat with Rasmus Vasli, one of the gallery’s two founders, about his background in photography, his vision as a gallerist and what he wishes to find in the submissions to #FotoRoomOPEN. Read on to find out more about Fotogalleri Vasli Souza and send your work today, before it’s too late!
Hi Rasmus, thank you for creating the fantastic opportunity of having a solo show at your gallery for the next #FotoRoomOPEN winner. What is your background in photography?
My interest in photography started while doing my BA in film studies in Perth, Australia. I decided to do an elective class in photography where I met my teacher, photographer Max Pam. He became a big inspiration to me, and I ended up getting more interested in photography than what I was initially studying. From there I went on assisting some photographers in Oslo, before I started a MA in Photography at the London College of Communication.
When and why did you establish Fotogalleri Vasli Souza?
The gallery was established in 2012/13 together with my good friend and classmate Marcio Souza. After completing the MA we decided to set up our own group exhibition together with some fellow artists in London. The exhibition didn’t become a huge success, but we had a lot of fun organizing it. Jobs aren’t exactly thrown at you after finishing a study in the arts field, so we talked about it and thought it would be a good idea to have something on the side whilst working on our own photography projects. London is expensive and we felt the risk of drowning amongst all the other established galleries was high. I knew a relatively affordable space in Malmö, and that the city had a good art scene, but not so much on photography, so a few weeks later we packed our bags and moved.
So far you’ve exhibited a wide range of works in terms of genre, approach and subject matter. In general, how would you describe your gallery’s contribution to the contemporary photography scene?
I think the wide range of works has to do with our diverse background going into the gallery business. Together, Marcio and I had a network and impulses from all over the world. Let’s say we contribute with an open mind, giving a stronger voice to contemporary photography in Scandinavia, and always looking to introduce new, up-and-coming photographers. Locally I would say the gallery contributes with bringing many international names to Sweden, as this is less common here.
Submissions to #FotoRoomOPEN will close next 30 November. What kind of work do you hope to find in the entries?
Something strange, maybe with a subtle dash of humor. I’m always interested in new ideas. Although it can seem almost impossible to come up with something new these days, it would be great to find something surprising, either in terms of subject matter or technique.
What are the main challenges that Fotogalleri Vasli Souza has to face as a young gallery exhibiting emerging photographers?
Is there anything that annoys you in contemporary photography, be it about the kind of work that is being produced or about contemporary photography as an industry?
It’s hard to point out something annoying about what you love, but the fact that “everyone” is a photographer now gives me some mixed feelings. Of course it’s great that so many people enjoy taking photographs—that it has become such an easy, accessible medium. On the other hand I believe it has made it a lot harder for photography to be accepted as an art form. In order to gain acceptance, honesty and trust is crucial. Be well organized and be clear about your edition numbers (as a little tips).
The last question we ask the photographers we feature is to share their #threewordsforphotography. Which are your three words?
Uncanny. Glimpse. Everywhere.
#FotoRoomOPEN | Vasli Souza edition closes soon! Submit your work today.