Guest Room: Tina Campt & Keisha Scarville
Guest Room: Tina Campt & Keisha Scarville
Guest Room: Tina Campt & Keisha Scarville
"Poetics of Darkness."

Theme for Guest Room

Guest Room aims to spark collaboration. Black feminist theorist of visual culture and contemporary art Tina Campt, who is a Professor of Humanities at Princeton University, has decided to join forces with photo-based artist Keisha Scarville.

To guide your submissions for this Guest Room, they have developed the following framework: "Poetics of Darkness."

As both a technological medium and a rich modality of cultural expression, photography is both taught and theorized as a manipulation of light, specifically, how photographers respond and position themselves, their cameras, and subjects in relation to light. It is in this way a practice that implicitly seeks to move away from darkness. What would it mean to embrace a counter-intuitive understanding of photography that inverts this structuring logic? Put differently, rather than focusing on how light interacts with the subject, what would it look like to focus on how photographic subjects interact with and respond to darkness and shadow? What might it look like to engage darkness as itself an active site of illumination? And what would it mean to activate shadow in ways that make darkness resonate?

"We are interested in images that activate shadow and darkness not as a negative void, but as dynamic and expressive space. We encourage the submission of images that explore multiple implications of shadow as a poetics, as action (verb, adverb, agent), as active rather than passive, and as charged rather than inert. We welcome imaginative photographs that bend our vision toward a capacious embrace of darkness rather than light."

Why submit to Guest Room?

  • Get the chance to be awarded a 1.000 € Guest Room Scholarship sponsored by MPB
  • Be discovered by two experts in contemporary art and photography
  • Get published in an online showcase on Der Greif alongside emerging artists from all over the world
  • Submit for free or pay a voluntary donation of 8€
  • Please note: Images which have been selected for a previous Der Greif opportunity are not eligible for re-submission. We want to support the broadest range of photographers possible and therefore encourage you to submit work that has not yet been selected by our past Guest Curators. Any images which do not comply with these terms will be removed from the selection process.

Voluntary donation

After over a decade of serving the international photography community Der Greif is now finally a registered non-profit. We believe this organizational structure best reflects our artistic and cultural mission. As always, your artistic contribution makes our work on Der Greif possible.

Since starting Guest Room in January 2015, we’ve been working hard to invite a broad range of practitioners, from gallerists to editors and curators. We are convinced that this format is an interesting and low-barrier approach to help artists get their work in front of people who might be interested in working with them. For this reason, we are asking you to consider making a financial contribution as well. That’s why we’re suggesting a voluntary donation of 8€ as a submission fee. 100% of the funds we collect from your donations will go towards helping us continue providing interesting opportunities for the photography community through Guest Room, and thus expand Der Greif.

We believe in inclusivity. We don’t want this suggested donation to stand in the way of your submission. If you are unable to contribute financially, please send an email to to receive a voucher code which will allow you to enter for free.

About Tina Campt

Tina Campt is Roger S. Berlind ’52 Professor of Humanities at Princeton University, where she holds a joint appointment between the Department of Art and Archeology and the Lewis Center for the Arts. Campt is a black feminist theorist of visual culture and contemporary art and lead convener of the Practicing Refusal Collective and the Sojourner Project. One of the founding scholars of Black European Studies, her more recent scholarship bridges the divide between vernacular image-making in black diasporic communities and the interventions of black contemporary artists.

About Keisha Scarville

Keisha Scarville is a photo-based artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been widely exhibited, including the Studio Museum of Harlem, Huxley-Parlour Gallery in London, ICA Philadelphia, Contact Gallery in Toronto, The Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Lightwork Syracuse, The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Higher Pictures Gallery, and Baxter Street CCNY. She has participated in artist residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Lightwork, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program, Stoneleaf, Baxter Street CCNY, BRIC Workspace, and more.

About Der Greif Guest Room

Guest Room is a monthly online exhibition with open submissions curated in real-time by personalities from the international photography scene. Der Greif is an award-winning organization for contemporary photography. It is print-publication, online-publication, curatorial team and joint project all at once. Der Greif connects the digital and the analogue, exploring and expanding the borders and limits of image-distribution and -reception in the digital era.

Any questions?

Please feel free to contact us.

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