Take-off to Infinity

Opening BredaPhoto Festival

It was an exciting and cheerful evening, the kick-off of the festival. The crowded room in the Chasse theater - populated by an expectant audience - buzzed and blared. Until a string quartet began to play and it slowly became quiet.

Photographer Laureate

We were guided through the evening by Lucas de Man, who managed to captivate the audience with great humor in English with a Flemish accent. To begin with, there was the announcement of the new Photographer Laureate: Jan Dirk van der Burg, who came up the stage hopping. This photographer treated the audience to unadulterated entertainment, complete with a show ballet: a ‘photo comedy in stonecole-english’. Van der Burg gets his inspiration from the world around him, he is interested in peculiarities of people and collects them. He sees social media as “a diary without a lock”. Lucas de Man summarized it: “24 hours internet a day, keeps the psychiatrist away”. The inspiration Van der Burg takes from his photography not only makes him a happier person. After that festival chairman Bart Straatman came on the stage and shared his ambition to be part of the top 5 of the European photo festivals.

Spectacular sneak preview

The evening ended with a 40-minute minimalistic piece of music (by Terry Riley) performed by Ragazze Quartet and Slagwerkgroep Den Haag. The music was supported by images from video collective Het Blauwe Uur. These images came from photographers who can be seen in Breda, so that the audience – perhaps without being aware of it – was given a literal visualization of the theme ‘To Infinity and Beyond’. Image and music reinforced each other, and the audience was carried away in the infinity of the imagination.

Festival locations open to the public

After this hypnotic experience, it was time for a visit to ‘The Infinity Path’. The first visitors walked on the five hundred meters long ‘The Infinity Path’, designed by architects MVRDV. In this open-air museum on the Chassé Promenade, you can see the photos of seven renowned photographers and emerging talents. The doors of the fifteen festival locations are open to the public.

The audience was enthusiastic, the launch successful. Breda is ready for the take-off!

Report: Desiree van den Bogaard