This month, we present a small selection of work that will be shown at Format festival, which returns to the Quad Arts Centre in Derby, England for its ninth edition this March. Under the theme Forever/Now, our edit of notable projects emphasises the festival’s slant towards ‘crooked’ documentary practices, where a lack of subject or search for the unknown is filled by fiction and interpretation.
Derby is a small British city but once every two years it hosts a big event – the FORMAT Festival. Directed by the well-respected photography specialist Louise Fedotov-Clements and running since 2004, FORMAT has established a firm reputation for interesting international work, and FORMAT19 looks set to continue the good work with exhibitions spread across both Derby and another neighbouring city, Nottingham. Taking place next spring, FORMAT19 is themed FOREVER/NOW and takes on an interesting contemporary question – the role of documentary photography.
“In 2007, while the photography world was still grappling with the idea of photography as an interpretive, non-narrative, non-representational medium, writer Lucy Soutter wrote about the ‘expressive’ versus the ‘straight’ documentary photograph, insightfully characterising the then two sides of the debate,” runs the FORMAT19 press material.
“Since then photography has grown to encompass many manifestations of the ‘crooked’ image through hybrid forms and visual practises and no longer worries about narrative versus abstraction, expressive versus objective. The new generation of photographic artists rush towards the new, embracing the rapid transformation that technology and cultural exchanges bring to it.”
“The culture and mythology of Bigfoot is something that has always interested me growing up and now as a grown man,” says Harry Rose. “How can people be so convinced? What real evidence is there?” Rose is BJP’s creative campaign manager, but he’s also the founder of Darwin Magazine and a Newport graduate, whose work has appeared on sites such as Self Publish, Be Happy, Vice and Photoworks. His ongoing personal project, Looking for Bigfoot, uses photography, archive images, found objects, sighting accounts and interviews with believers to try to build a picture of the mythical British giant, who is also known as the Wildman, Green Man and Yeti. Now he’s discussing his work and the human desire to create mythologies at Miniclick’s next outing, at Temple Bar Brighton on 28 March. Joining Rose will be fellow Newport graduate Hannah Saunders, who is currently studying for an MA in the History of Art at the Courtauld Institute, focusing on The Supernatural Middle Ages. Her project Allegorical or Historical explores the lives of three Medieval Saints through self-portraiture, and …
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Sue Steward is remembered on 16 November with music and tributes at The Tabernacle, London. Even Sue, a writer who excelled in celebrating lives, might have struggled to write an obituary that unravelled the vibrant meshing of her own. She lived with ferocious energy and enthusiasm, and a genuine gift for friendship so innate that she never realised how unique it was. When Sue died recently from a brain haemorrhage, sustained in her beloved East Sussex garden, grief ricocheted through an extensive global network of friends and colleagues.
“Where are ‘we’ going as a collective society?” That’s the question posed by this year’s Getxophoto Festival, back for its 11th edition under the stewardship of new artistic director, Bilbao-born Monica Allende. The festival, which opens on 31 August and runs until 01 October 2017, comprises 20 main exhibitions, many of them outdoors, and a lively programme of activity and events unfurling around the coastal town of Getxo in the Basque country. “‘Transitions’, the theme for the next three instalments of the festival, starts from the idea that we are entering “a period of post-globalisation”, says Allende, a former photo editor at The Sunday Times. “This concept has been on the fringes of debate for some time but is gathering momentum in mainstream discourse. “We see its effects through increased polarisation of political debate around the threats of climate change, the refugee crisis and the rise of nationalist populism. This is a moment of major uncertainties, where the status quo of the state and global free-market agreements are being questioned as solutions for a balanced …
“I wanted to offer up experiences concerning the complexity of our existence on the planet,” Louise Clements, director of the Format festival, told BJP of its theme this year – Habitat. “Climate, migration, technology: they all seem to be accelerating and the consequences are quite momentous. “We are impacting the geology of Earth. It was important to me to do something vital. As a festival, we’re not just here to celebrate the achievements of the artists: we also want to have some kind of impact.” She’s gathered together work by more than 300 artists that fits the theme – along with Hester Keijser, co-curator of the lead exhibition Ahead Still Lies Our Future – and BJP is proud to have partnered up with Format to present our take on some of their shows. We interview Clements and Keijser about the thinking behind their investigation of the Anthropocene; we interview the photographer John MacLean about his project Hometown, which saw him tracing the origins of image-makers such as John Baldessari, Richard Long, William Eggleston and Ed Ruscha. …
Curated by Louise Clements, Derby’s FORMAT17 draws on cutting edge photography to consider the man-made world and our place in it